Acetaminophen for Dogs

Owners need to be aware of the toxicity of Acetaminophen for dogs, and know that acetaminophen shouldn't be administered without instructions from a veterinarian. Acetaminophen, or paracetamol, is more commonly known as the active ingredient in the over-the-counter medication Tylenol. It can also be found in Percoset, Vicodin, aspirin-free Excedrin and many cold medications like DayQuil and is most often used for pain relief or to reduce fevers.

For dogs, the side effects of ingesting Tylenol include liver failure and damage to the red blood cells which can eventually lead to death. Signs of acetaminophen toxicity include vomiting, difficulty breathing, discolored and dark gums, brown or bloody urine, excessive drooling and convulsions. Pet owners must remember to keep all of their medications in a safe place and to be careful when disposing of any medication in a trash bin that a pet can get into and accidentally ingest the drugs.

Giving your dog a dose of acetaminophen is not only a potential threat to his health; many veterinarians also believe it is not effective in relieving pain. Talk to your veterinarian about any other medications and the correct dosage amounts that are safer and more effective for your pets like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) or aspirin.