1. What are the signs a dog is in pain?
Is my dog in pain? It’s a question dog owners ask regularly. But before concerning yourself with obtaining pain relief or painkillers for your dog, you first need to know how to tell if your dog is in pain.
There are a number of signs, some more obvious than others, which can indicate pain in dogs, including excessive grooming, being more vocal and antisocial or aggressive behaviour.
Read our advice article for more information and if you’re worried your dog is suffering contact your vet or, out of hours, your nearest Vets Now.
2. Can I give my dog pain relief?
Owners often ask vets about safe pain relief for dogs. While humans can self-diagnose and, in many cases, self-medicate by buying over-the-counter drugs, it’s not quite the same for dogs.
It’s imperative dog owners do not try to administer pain relief to their pet without first consulting a vet. If a dog is in pain they should undergo a full veterinary examination. This will enable the vet to make a proper diagnosis in respect of what is causing the pain and draw up a treatment plan to treat it. Several painkilling drugs have been designed specifically for dogs and these are far safer and more effective than drugs intended for people. Giving dogs non-prescribed drugs can result in accidental poisoning and possibly lead to kidney failure.
3. Can I give my dog human painkillers?
As tempting as it may be to try to treat your dog’s pain using over-the-counter human painkillers, it’s something you should avoid. Many dog owners wrongly assume it’s safe to give their pet human painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, but this is not the case.
Ibuprofen, for example, is toxic to dogs while paracetamol can also be highly dangerous if the wrong dosage is given. We can’t reiterate enough how vital it is you speak to your vet before attempting to treat your dog’s pain. Only ever give your dog painkillers that have been prescribed by your vet. Our emergency vets have treated many pets who have been poisoned by human drugs such as ibuprofen.
4. Can I give my dog aspirin?
While aspirin is sometimes used by vets to treat mild to moderate pain caused by osteoarthritis or musculoskeletal inflammation, it should never be administered by dog owners.
Even small doses can cause stomach ulcers and the stomach lining to become inflamed, while aspirin overdose can result in what’s called salicylate poisoning. This can lead to haemorrhage, seizures, coma, and death.