Side Effects of Aspirin for Dogs

Pet owners wonder if aspirin for dogs is safe. Giving your dog aspirin is okay on a limited basis. Aspirin does cause many of the same problems in dogs that it does in humans.

Aspirin provides pain relief to dogs. Pet owners appreciate that aspirin is inexpensive, so it is widely used. However, dogs can develop stomach upset and ulcers. If a dog overdoses on aspiring, renal failure and clotting problems may occur.

Common Use of Aspirin

Arthritis, fevers and muscle pain usually have pet owners seeking to help alleviate their dog's discomfort. While aspirin does help with the pain, fever and inflammation, veterinarians generally agree that you should not rely on aspirin on a permanent basis. It's okay for a few days, but if you want to control your dog's arthritis pain for the rest of his life, there are safer options.

Proper Dosage of Aspirin for Dogs

When giving your dog aspirin, make sure you are using the 325 milligram buffered aspirin pills and not extra strength varieties. Check the brand to make sure caffeine is not an added ingredient. Some aspirin companies add caffeine, codeine or acetaminophen, increasing the risk of deadly side effects for your dog.

Dogs should be given five to fifteen milligrams per pound of weight twice a day. It's advisable to start with a lower dosage to see if that is enough to ease the pain. For example, a 30-pound dog would have 150 milligrams, about half a pill, twice a day.

Offer aspiring for dogs with food to reduce the risk of ulcers and digestive upsets. Also make sure fresh water is available.

Be sure to check with your vet, as proper dosage can vary from one dog to another.

Side Effects and Contraindications of Aspirin Therapy

If you are using aspirin for dogs, watch for blood in the dog's stool. This is a key sign that the dog is experiencing ulcers from the aspirin. Stop giving the dog aspirin and contact your vet.

Signs of an overdose include depression, vomiting, fever, rapid breathing, lethargy, blood chemical imbalances, seizures and coordination problems. If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency care.

Aspirin may cause kidney damage. Symptoms include vomiting, appetite changes, excessive thirst or a decrease in thirst. If you see any of these side effects, it is important to contact your vet. Aspirin should never be used in an animal with preexisting kidney disease.

Aspirin can cause false glucose tests. Be sure to tell your veterinarian if your pet is taking aspirin for dogs so that he doesn't misread glucose urine tests.

Allergic reactions to aspirin for dogs include:

  • Anemia

  • Blood loss resulting in blood protein level imbalances

Do not use aspirin in pregnant or nursing dogs, dogs with Von Willebrand's Disease or dogs that will soon be having surgery. Aspirin thins the blood leading to complications during a surgical procedure.

Vitamin C, furosemide and methionine increase levels of aspirin in the blood stream. Do not give your dog aspirin if he is taking any of these medications or supplements. Aspirin increases levels of digoxin, penicillin and sulfonamides. If used with heparin, excessive bleeding can occur.