Administering Aspirin for Dog Arthritis With Care

Dog arthritis aspirin treatment is safe and effective, but should be handled with care. Because aspirin is a drug, there are risks and dangers associated with its use.

Aspirin for Arthritis Treatment

Aspirin is most commonly used for the treatment of arthritis in dogs, because it is an anti-inflammatory. Aspirin can reduce the swelling in your dog's joints, and relieve his pain. However, aspirin is generally used as a temporary solution for the relief of arthritis pain. Your vet may suggest Rymadil if your dog's arthritis pain is severe.

Risks Associated with Aspirin

Aspirin is not safe for very young dogs. Aspirin can also irritate your dog's stomach, just as it can sometimes irritate your own. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or has stomach problems, take special care to monitor his reaction to aspirin.

Aspirin can irritate the stomach lining and cause stomach ulcers in both dogs and people. If your dog shows signs of stomach ulcers, such as bloody vomiting, stop administering aspirin. Aspirin thins the blood, and can make the stomach ulcers more serious. If your dog develops stomach ulcers as a result of aspirin arthritis treatment, he may need veterinary attention to help them heal.

Administering Aspirin with Care

To prevent stomach irritation and ulcers, always administer aspirin with food. Even healthy dogs with no stomach problems should be given food with their aspirin. Aspirin-based headache powders can be convenient because they are easy to mix in with your dog's meal.

You'll also need to be aware of the appropriate dose of aspirin your dog needs to relieve his arthritis. Over dosage can be dangerous for your dog. A good rule of thumb is to give no more than 5mg per pound of your dog's body weight.

Dosage and Frequency

Administer aspirin dosages no more often than every 12 hours. Start your dog on the smallest possible dose (5mg/lb), and work your way up to a highest possible dose of 10mg/lb. Stop raising the dosage when your dog's pain is relieved. The smallest possible dose that relieves your dog's arthritis pain is the safest.

Exercise special caution when administering aspirin to very small breeds. Also, never give your dog acetominphen, ibuprofen, or any other over-the-counter pain relievers meant for human consumption. Aspirin in appropriate doses is safe for dogs, but acetominophen, ibuprofen and other human pain relievers are not.