When people feel pain, they
often reach for common medicines such as aspirin or Motrin. These types of
drugs, known as NSAIDs, also are used to treat arthritis pain in dogs and to
manage pain after surgery in dogs and cats.
But NSAID use in pets
carries risks as well as benefits. And all dogs and cats should have a thorough
physical exam by a veterinarian – including a review of the pet's medical
history – before being given NSAIDs , according to the US Food and Drug
Pet owners also need to be
informed about possible side effects, including those that could signal danger.
Some of the most common side effects of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs) in animals reported to the FDA are vomiting, loss of appetite, reduced
levels of activity and diarrhoea.
While your pet is taking
NSAIDs, watch for these side effects as well as looking for blood in the faeces,
tar-like stools, yellowing of the whites of the eyes and yellowing of the gums,
FDA veterinarian Dr Melanie McLean said in an FDA news release.
If you see any of these
symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately, McLean said.
Other reported side effects
included ulcers in the stomach and intestines, kidney failure, liver failure
McLean said it's not
unusual for people to want to give their pets painkillers straight from their
own medicine cabinets.
But some over-the-counter
pain relievers can be toxic or deadly in pets. Always check with your
veterinarian before giving drugs meant for people to a pet, McLean said.
"Many people don't
realize that a medicine that's safe for people may not be safe for dogs or
cats, or that a dose that is safe for people may not be safe for their
pets," she said.
She also said pet owners
should never assume that a medicine that is safe for one animal is safe for
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