Can you buy over the counter pain killers for dogs?

(23 Posts)
poachedeggs Sat 20-Apr-13 19:49:59

lI'm a vet <holds hands up>

Lonecat has already made some good points.

I'd like to add that animals are very different to humans, they have different physiology and each species has its idiosyncrasies, as do breeds within a species. Ibuprofen is the second or third most common cause of poisoning I see in dogs, yet someone up thread has authoritatively recommended it as safe. You pay to see a vet but you also have an assurance of appropriate, safe and licensed treatment.

The reason veterinary prescribing and practice are reserved to vets is because it isn't "like dosing your child with Calpol". Even paracetamol, which we throw down our DC's necks if they sneeze, is a leading cause of liver damage. Pharmacology is not primary school cut and stick.

Having said this, I am happy to prescribe painkillers to known and trusted clients for use when required. In a rural area when it might be a long time before an animal can be brought in it makes sense. But I have to be careful. By law (note that this is a legality, nothing to do with vets, just a constraint within which we must work) I have to demonstrate that an animal I have prescribed drugs for is "under my care". Hard to do if I haven't examined it.

pigsDOfly Sat 20-Apr-13 00:59:20

I don't really understand this whole 'vets are all trying to rip us off' thing. I've just had to buy two different eye drops from the vet for my dog and yes they were eye wateringly expensive. One is actually a human medicine and the other I suspect very much like the ones you can buy over the counter for common human eye infections. The problem with going to the chemist and buying it over the counter is that I don't know what is suitable for my dog or what might potentially cause further damage. I wouldn't be happy to self medicate my dog.

My dog is insured, and the cost of veterinary treatment is something I feel I just have to accept as part of having a dog.

tabulahrasa Fri 19-Apr-13 22:28:10

You can give them human tramadol because that is in fact what they're prescribed as it isn't made for animals... Not exactly over the counter though, lol. Dosage might be an issue though.

ItsSarah Fri 19-Apr-13 22:09:03

I work with dogs and it is now becoming recognised that the sweetener xylitol is very toxic to dogs. It is being more and more widely used in children's medicines and yogurts etc so be careful!

purplepansy Thu 18-Oct-12 20:38:56

I agree - if we are able to understand that different sizes of child need different doses of medicine, surely we can understand that different sizes of dog need different doses? You can buy over the counter wormers etc, and work out the dose for your pet based on weight.

I'm not buying the 'drugs are toxic so you have to see a vet' argument. Paracetamol is lethal for humans too in overdose, but we happily dole it out to our children - in SAFE doses, based on their weight. We could do this for our dogs too.

sunflowerseeds Thu 18-Oct-12 18:51:19

This is daft. None of us goes to the doctor with a pulled muscle or a stomach upset and the doctor wouldn't charge £88 if we did. No wonder animals are neglected. If we could buy safe simple pet remedies in Boots, owners wouldn't be dosing their pets with unsuitable human medicines. I am not talking about serious illness or injuries.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 15:46:50

I strongly advise against giving human drugs to dogs. I have seen several dogs and cats die from liver failure from a very small amount of Paracetamol. I know what you mean though, where I live you can ask the vet for a basic first aid supply of anti inflammatory and anti biotics. They only give a one or two day dose though so if it doesn't clear up you still have to take them in. I think this is down to the fact that some people would have to drive for hours to get to a clinic.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 18-Oct-12 12:53:49

The regulation of veterinary medicines is many more times stringent than that for human medicines. Each branch of my practice is visited at least every three years to check we are prescribing responsible (we pay for each visit no choice) doctors are never visited.
All of this regulation is that under EU all animals are equal so the control is to prevent medicines entering the food chain via food producing animals.
It is not the vets we would love to be able to prescribe generics and to not have to pay for all this regulation.
Personally although paracetamol is approved in a certain formulation I wouldn't use it on my own pets, I would only use aspirin for potential blood clots in cats and would never give ibuprofen which a single 400mg tablet can be toxic to a 10kg dog.
Having seen when working in the USA a pony given repeated doses of banamine an over the counter painkiller to treat colic due to gut stones (enteroliths) over 1 month before a vet was called. I know that whilst most owners are responsible there are some who are not and would put their pets welfare at risk.

midori1999 Thu 18-Oct-12 11:22:37

Tbh, I think if your dog is ill enough or in enough pain that you are considering pain killers, then you probably need to see a vet.

beachyhead Thu 18-Oct-12 09:26:32

Thanks all for your comments. I must admit I wasn't planning on dosing her up with human medicine, I was just aware that the same products are not safely sold for animals as for children. Even having a pharmacist for animals would be a step in the right direction.

She's still a bit hobbly today although I am bathing in Epsom salts, which she enjoys. I'll probably take her in tomorrow.

Thanks for all your help.

1MitchellMum Wed 17-Oct-12 17:04:22

Agree with Cuebill. DO NOT give your dog medication without authorisation from a trusted source. I've read horror stories about aspirin and paracetamol. There are also contra-indications even with painkillers given to dogs. For example dogs with bad tums shouldn't be given certain painkillers. I'm not a vet but know that if I had a problem with a dog I'd visit (or ring in certain circumstances). You're not just paying for the ten minutes of your vet's time but for his/her expertise, overheads etc. etc. In your situation I'd rest my dog at least overnight and then visit the vet if the dog is still poorly. I hope she's better soon.

Cuebill Wed 17-Oct-12 16:14:36

I would strongly advise against self medicating dogs.

Aspirin can be very toxic to dogs if the incorrect dose is given.

Paracetamol is toxic to dogs. Different breeds can react differently to medication so always get veterinary advice before giving human medicine to dogs.

They are not there to rip you off but to give the safest and most effective treatment to your pet.

silverangel Wed 17-Oct-12 16:13:50

You can also give iburpofen for dogs, not sure what the dosage would be officially though.

Floralnomad Wed 17-Oct-12 15:58:52

I was advised by our vet to use Tixylix cough syrup when our puppy had kennel cough ( he was also on antibiotics) . He loved it and got through bottles of the stuff and would probably still be taking it now if he could get the childproof lid off the bottle

I know that you can give dogs children's cough medicine - my mum's vet recommended it for an ear infection so I don't see why you couldn't give children's pain killers.

BeingBooyhoo Wed 17-Oct-12 15:03:28

i'd say you're right there.

beachyhead Wed 17-Oct-12 14:52:56

Isn't it crazy though that we can buy drugs for our children and dose them responsibly and not buy drugs for our dogs or cats? Conspiracy amongst vets, I suspect.....

BeingBooyhoo Wed 17-Oct-12 14:51:18

ooh thanks for that queens. i wont do that again then. sorry OP ignore my advice! grin

QueenofNightmares Wed 17-Oct-12 14:41:27

That first sentence makes a whole lot of sense hmm Basically don't give paracetamol you can give aspirin but I personally would rather take an injured animal to the vet, better safe than sorry.

QueenofNightmares Wed 17-Oct-12 14:40:07

Paracetamol is not good for dogs, you can give aspirin however can be given.

"The aspirin dose for dogs is 5 – 10mg/lb every 12 hours (twice a day)." To be honest I don't think I'd be entirely comfortable doing this though and would honestly recommend you take the vets vist just in case they are the professionals after all smile

beachyhead Wed 17-Oct-12 14:38:40

Really, just a child's dose?

I asked the vet receptionist in Pets at Home for a basic painkiller and she looked at me like I'd asked for heroin!

BeingBooyhoo Wed 17-Oct-12 14:31:31

i'm not sure if you can but i have in the past given my dog calpol when he got his foot trapped in the door.

beachyhead Wed 17-Oct-12 14:27:51

And if not, why not? My sensible dog, as opposed to my stupid dog, has strained or bruised her paw. I've had a good look, it's not 'hot', there are no puncture wounds or pus. She is just finding it hard to put weight on. BUT she has just been for a massive grassy walk where she whooped up various pheasants.....

So I don't think it's terminal, just sore and she should probably take it easy for a while, but ideally I'd give her painkillers (which is, I'm pretty sure, what the vet would prescribe and tell me to watch it for a few days).

Does anyone know of any that you can buy rather than visiting my hugely expensive vet? (which I obviously will, if it carries on).

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