Dog Aspirin Overdose

Dog aspirin is an analgesic used to treat pain, inflammation and fever in pets. Aspirin is also called acetylsalicylic acid. It has anti-pyretic properties that help reduce fever in pets and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling and inflammation. It’s also a non steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that acts by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase.

Uses of Canine Aspirin

  • To treat arthritis
  • To hasten the recovery time after surgery
  • To reduce fever, pain and swelling
  • To treat hypertension, increased heart rate and increased respiration
  • To help prevent heart attacks and strokes

Canine Aspirin Dosage

Aspirin should be administered only after discussing its benefits with a vet. It should be administered only according to vet instructions to avoid complications. Since puppies have underdeveloped systems, they lack certain enzymes that are essential in enhancing the analgesic effects of aspirin. Therefore, small puppies should never be treated with aspirin.

In dogs, aspirin takes nearly 7.5 hours to be eliminated from the body. As a general guideline, 5 to 10 mg of aspirin per pound of the dog’s weight should be administered to your pet every 12 hours, along with the food. A higher dose can cause irreversible damage that can be fatal and should be avoided. Overdose can cause salicylate poisoning and result in bleeding, coma, seizures and death.


Dogs shouldn’t be given enteric aspirin as this isn’t digested in the stomach but collects in the intestine and can cause aspirin toxicity. Buffered aspirin or aspirin made specifically for dogs is best. Aspirin is contraindicated in dogs with kidney or liver damage and pets recovering from a major surgery as it can increase bleeding time after the surgery. The medication shouldn’t be given to dogs on diuretics, or other drugs such as dexamethasone and prednisone. Since it can interact with other medications, it’s best to administer aspirin only after conducting a vet check.

Symptoms of Dog Aspirin Overdose

  • Pale gums
  • Vomiting and blood in the vomit
  • Diarrhea and black stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Polydipsia or excessive thirst and polyuria
  • Panting and anxiety
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Coma
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Peritonitis
  • Watery urine
  • Kidney failure
  • Allergies

Diagnosis of Aspirin Overdose in Dogs

If your pet displays any of these symptoms you should take him to the vet at the earliest as this can be an emergency situation. The vet will perform a physical examination, evaluate the dog’s medical history and conduct blood and urine tests to determine the severity of the problem and the potential complications that could result.

Treatment of Aspirin Overdose

If excess amount of aspirin was ingested recently, the dog might be forced to vomit to expel the medication from the system. Alternatively, active charcoal may be administered to the dog to reduce aspirin absorption by the dog’s system. The contents of the stomach can also be emptied out by a gastric lavage or a stomach pumping. During overdose, the acid-base balance of the blood and the blood sugar levels are monitored to ensure that they remain within normal ranges. Dehydration is prevented by the administration of IV fluids while medications are prescribed to protect the dog against gastrointestinal ulcers and edema.

It’s important to treat the dog immediately if an overdose of aspirin is suspected as the prognosis is good if treatment is initiated before the onset of symptoms.