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Aspirin for Dogs: The Side Effects of NSAIDs


For dogs that have recently been through surgery or have other ailments, they may be prescribed NSAIDs to help with symptoms or recovery.

It’s always difficult to see our dogs in pain or discomfort. Thankfully, there are plenty of great medications available for dogs who are dealing with pain, and one of these types of medications is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Why are They Prescribed?

According to the AKC, NSAIDs are commonly prescribed for dogs with osteoarthritis or musculoskeletal inflammation as a means of pain and inflammation management. They can also be used to lower fevers and as an anti-coagulant to keep blood clots from forming.

These properties also make NSAIDs a popular choice for dogs that have recently gone through surgery. As stated, NSAIDs provide pain management, minimize inflammation, keep fevers at bay, and act as an anti-coagulant—all essential benefits for post-surgery patients that are working on recovery. It keeps them comfortable while also working to keep your pet’s body from experiencing common secondary problems and discomfort after surgery. 

Side Effects

All medication has potential side effects, and NSAIDs are no different. Side effects outlined by the AKC include, but are not limited to:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nosebleeds
  • Black, tarry stool

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should stop giving your dog the medication and inform your vet so they can find a more suitable solution for your furry companion. It’s important to keep your pet comfortable, and it’s also important to inform your vet of any issues so they can make a note of it. This will prevent issues in the future, as they will have a log of any NSAIDs your pet has failed to tolerate to an acceptable degree.

More serious side effects that, according to the AKC, could be signs of overdose are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Hemorrhage
  • Seizure
  • Coma

Certainly, if your dog is experiencing severe side effects from any medication, you should stop giving it immediately and consult your veterinarian

Listen to Your Vet

Medications are amazing, but they can also be dangerous. When it comes to giving your pet any type of medication, including NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, always defer to your veterinarian’s recommendations on dosage and administration. Many sources will tell you that giving your dog human versions of these same medications is safe, which is true because they are similar and are not inherently harmful to your dog. The problem is that human pills come in human doses, which are often far too big for our dogs. Due to this, it can be very difficult to get the amount right, and the risk of an overdose is significant. If you feel that the medication your dog is on is not safe for them or not doing enough for their pain and discomfort, talk to your veterinarian about other options or NSAID alternatives that could be helpful for your pup.

Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Companion’s Health

Your companion’s health is important, and the team at MVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your companion’s care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your dog, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your companion an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve loyal companions in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 21st, 2022 at 4:10 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.