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Your pooch is probably the best non-human friend you have. Therefore, you would feel miserable when he is in pain and you would leave no option untried to get a relief as soon as possible.

Since they are readily available, aspirin would seem to be the fastest and most efficient option. But is aspirin safe for dogs? Can you give your dog baby aspirin?  The short answer is no. Don’t give your dog baby aspirin unless you are instructed by your veterinarian to do so.

But that’s what my friends give their dogs for pain relief? Well, while your friends may succeed in providing their dogs some relief from pain, they may also be unknowingly introducing other health problems to their dogs.

Without further ado, here are the top reasons why you should never be tempted to give your dog any pain reliever meant for humans—including baby aspirin:

1. Wrong Dosage

When your dog’s suffering tempts you to administer baby aspirin, remember the dangers you will be exposing your canine friend to by giving him the drug. The truth is that no one would calculate the right dosage for your dog but a professional veterinarian. When you take the treatment role into your own hands, you may cause more damage to the dog’s health than good.

2. Inefficiency in Pain Relief

It is alright to try and look for a quick solution to your dog’s pain. However, you may be disappointed with the results. The baby aspirin may not be effective and your dog will continue suffering, making you even more miserable.

Generally, aspirin varieties that are manufactured for dogs are buffered to protect their stomachs. Aspirin meant for humans doesn’t work well for dogs because dogs cannot digest the coating fast for the drug to have a useful effect.

 Additionally, keep in mind the fact that just because it is not effective does not mean that it is inactive. The aspirin would still be somewhere in the dog’s body, probably damaging the lining of the stomach, setting the ground for the onset of ulcers. Your dog may also develop aspirin toxicity as a result of high levels of acetylsalicylic acid.

3. Interference with Normal Body Functioning

Baby aspirin works by inhibiting an enzyme charged with producing prostaglandins, a substance with hormonal qualities. The latter is the culprit for fever, pain, and inflammation. When its production is inhibited, other processes such as maintenance of the proper flow of blood to kidneys as well as protection of gastrointestinal tract lining are affected. In the end, your dog may produce a bloody vomit and even develop ulcers. His kidneys and liver may also be affected. In the worst cases, the dog may lose his life.

4. Drug sensitivity

Your dog may also be sensitive to NSAIDs. And in such cases, even if you manage to give him the right dosages, he will still experience side effects. There is also the risk of allergic reactions, especially in dogs with allergies.

5. Worsen Other Medical Conditions

Baby aspirin may also worsen certain medical conditions, particularly liver diseases, kidney diseases, ulcers, vitamin deficiencies, and bleeding disorders.

Common Side Effects of Baby Aspirin in Dogs

If you have given your dog baby aspirin already and probably worried about what will happen next, you need to be aware of common side effects (listed below). The side effects shouldn’t make you panic but you may call a local vet to discuss an alternative treatment in case they don’t disappear fast:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loose stools
  • Mucosal erosion
  • Hemorrhage
  • Black, tarry stool
  • Ulceration
  • Seizure
  • Coma

Bottom-line

Baby aspirin may work wonders in human babies. However, when administered to puppies or even large dogs without veterinarian assistance, it may not bring the expected results. In the worst cases, it has led to serious health problems and even death.

Before using aspirin to alleviate your dog’s pain, therefore, talk to your veterinarian. Only then can you know the right dose as well as whether you should give your dog the pain reliever in light of other considerations such as size, age, allergies, and other health conditions. Besides, the veterinarian will probably recommend alternative pain-relieving solutions.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to replace a veterinary doctor’s advice. Whenever you have any concern about your dog’s health or medication, the best person to contact is your vet.