It is important to understand that dogs are not little people, and so you cannot assume that all of the medications that work for humans will work for dogs as well.
However, ibuprofen is one medication that can work for both of you! In fact, it is the most common medication used to treat pain and inflammation in dogs.
As a dog owner, you know that Fido is far from indestructible, and many of the medications that are safe for people are dangerous for dogs.
If Fido is in pain, you'll want to know if he can safely take ibuprofen.
Ibuprofen is a human medication commonly used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and lower fevers. The drug is sold over-the-counter in a variety of dosages for humans, but it isn't approved for use in dogs.
Here we will talk about why dogs get pain and inflammation, how you can tell if your dog has pain, and how ibuprofen can help.
Signs of Pain in Dogs
If you think you can spot these signs of pain in dogs, you may be wrong. By the time most dogs are in so much pain that they are showing obvious symptoms of it, it may be too late.
And even if the pain is not that extreme, it's good to know as many symptoms as possible.
While dogs may not be able to tell you where it hurts, there are many tell-tale signs that will give you a clue.
If you're ever unsure of any of these signs, contact your vet immediately. Dogs may not be able to speak, but they are experts at expressing their pain with their body language.
If your dog is hurt, it will likely limp or cry out when you touch the area of pain. Other signs of pain include your dog being reluctant to move or jump, or showing a reduced interest in food.
If your dog is in pain, you should contact a veterinarian. Chronic pain can be managed in dogs, but as with humans, it can be difficult to diagnose.
A veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers to help your dog cope.
Dogs may not be able to tell us in words how much pain they are in, but there are some telltale signs that can clue you in.
Common signs include pacing, whining, limping, avoiding standing up or jumping, a change in behavior, or making unusual sounds.
If your dog is experiencing any of these, the most important step is to take him to the vet.
The vet will then perform a physical exam and may even recommend imaging tests like an X-ray to help determine the exact source of the pain.
However, even the most thorough exam can’t account for all the causes of pain, so the vet will probably also prescribe a medication to help relieve the pain.
Over-the-Counter Pain Meds for Dogs
As any dog owner knows, an aching dog is a miserable dog.
And if your pup suffers from arthritis, hip dysplasia, or another orthopedic problem, you don’t want to take chances with his or her health by relying solely on medication prescribed by a veterinarian. (For example, some drugs used to control pain in people can be toxic to dogs.)
Fortunately, many of the same over-the-counter pain medications human beings use are also safe for your canine companion.
Dogs get sick and injured too, and while you can’t always treat their symptoms with over-the-counter medication, they do have options.
Most pet owners rely on non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help their dogs deal with everything from allergies to broken bones. (Oral pain relievers are especially useful for dogs with arthritis or joint pain.)
One caveat to using these drugs, though: they’re generally only recommended as a short-term solution, since they can cause stomach ulcers and other dangerous side effects if used frequently.
If your dog has chronic health issues, talk to your vet about possible alternatives.
Holistic Pain Relief for Dogs
While it might seem like a good idea to let your dog take over-the-counter pain medications like Advil or Aleve, in reality doing so could be dangerous for your canine companion.
Just like humans, dogs have different reactions to medications and different medicines work differently on different dogs. It's important to remember that dogs sense of taste is much stronger than that of humans, and they will eat just about anything that tastes good, including medications.
Dogs in pain are often in a lot of emotional pain, too, and can become anxious or depressed. So the goal of pain management is not just to relieve a dog from physical pain, but also to increase a dog's comfort and quality of life.
Pain management is a holistic process that encompasses medical, emotional, and environmental factors, so there are many ways to help ease a dog's pain.
Dogs are known for their loyalty and love for their owners, and there is nothing they wouldn’t do to repay the kindness given to them.
That devotion often costs dogs their health. One out of every two dogs suffers from pain caused by arthritis, tumors and injuries.
The pain caused by these ailments can be so severe that it can be almost impossible for your dog to perform daily activities.
The most common way to deal with this problem is to give your dog painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. But, there’s a better way! Treating your dog’s pain with holistic pain relief is not only a safe and effective way to get rid of your dog’s pain, it’s also cheaper.
Physical Therapy for Dog Pain
If your dog is suffering from an arthritic condition or hip dysplasia, you might be tempted to consider surgery to help eliminate her pain altogether.
However, hip replacement surgery can be quite costly, and it can be risky to the dog if the procedure is botched. Instead of opting for surgery, your best bet is to try physical therapy for dogs.
Physical therapy may be an alternative to surgery for dogs with hip dysplasia or other joint problems. Dogs with hip dysplasia have a difficult time walking due to pain and inflammation in the hip joint.
While a dog with hip dysplasia can benefit from physical therapy, it is not a cure for the problem. Physical therapy is directed by a physical therapist specifically trained in the care of animals and who has a background in animal anatomy.
Types of therapy include heat, massage, electrical stimulation, exercise, and TENS. Physical therapy is used to reduce pain in the hip joint and to strengthen the surrounding muscles.
Dogs aren’t necessarily smaller versions of people, and what works for us may not be good for our dog friends. In fact, since dogs and people metabolize medications differently, some medications that are safe for people can be dangerous for dogs. In the case of over-the-counter medications, if you want your dog to benefit from pain relief, talk to your vet about an appropriate alternative.
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