The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is alerting pet owners to the dangers of NSAIDS, common medications used for the relief of pain, inflammation and fever in humans, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen. "While these medications can be beneficial to humans, they can potentially be very hazardous or even deadly to pets," warns Dr. Steve Hansen, veterinary toxicologist and Senior Vice-President of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. While most animal exposures to NSAIDS are accidental (such as a pet chewing into a medication bottle or ingesting pills left unattended), others occur as a result of pet owners inappropriately medicating their pets without the direction of a veterinarian.
Depending on the dose involved, NSAIDS can produce clinical effects ranging from gastrointestinal (GI) upset, ulceration and/or perforation of the GI tract, bleeding disorders, kidney damage and central nervous system effects such as incoordination, seizures and coma. "Pet owners should never give their animal any medication without first talking with their pet's veterinarian," Dr. Hansen advises. "There are certain veterinary NSAID products formulated for safe use in pets, and consulting with your pet's vet will not only help avoid a potential medication poisoning, it can ensure that a proper diagnosis is made and treatment plan is established that will be most beneficial to your pet." Dr. Hansen also recommends that pet owners store medications in a secure cabinet well out of the reach of animals, as even child-proof containers can be easily chewed open.
As with any substance, if you suspect your pet may have become exposed to an NSAID, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435) for immediate assistance.
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