Why Tylenol Is Poisonous to Your Dog

Dog Tylenol treatment is dangerous as acetaminophen is toxic to dogs. Many owners attempt to treat their dog's pain with over the counter medicine without first consulting a vet. Sometimes dogs consume Tylenol by accident.

Affects of Acetaminophen on Dogs

Acetaminophen causes liver failure in dogs. It also causes hemolysis, or destruction of the red blood cells. Acetaminophen can cause the formation of Heinz bodies in your dog's blood; Heinz bodies are defective red blood cells that do not function properly. Acetaminophen can also cause the formation of methhemoglobin, a type of red blood cell that does not function at all.

In short, Tylenol stops your dog's blood from oxygenating his body.

Symptoms of Acetaminophen Poisoning in Dogs

Acetaminophen poisoning occurs in three stages.

Stage one symptoms include vomiting, dullness, difficulty breathing, browning of the gums and drooling. These symptoms manifest within the first five hours of poisoning.

Stage two symptoms include swelling of the face, lips and limbs. Your dog's movements may become uncoordinated. Death or a coma may also result. These symptoms occur within twelve to twenty-four hours of ingestion.

Stage three symptoms include liver failure, abdominal pain and jaundice.

Treatment of Acetaminophen Poisoning

Treatment of acetaminophen requires hospitalization with intravenous fluid therapy. Your dog may need to be hooked to a respirator. Activated charcoal may be used to absorb any acetaminophen remaining in the stomach. Tagamet and Mucomyst may be administered to protect the liver. Vitamin C may be used to help speed the acetaminophen from your dog's system.

In spite of therapy, severe and permanent liver damage and even death can occur if your dog eats Tylenol.