Ibuprofen Toxicity

Overview

Ibuprofen is a popular and effective over-the-counter medication available to treat pain and inflammation in people. For dogs and cats, ibuprofen can easily exceed toxic levels. The most common cause of ibuprofen toxicity is a well-meaning owner trying to alleviate pain in his pet who administers a dose he thinks is adequate without knowing the toxic dose.

The initial toxic effect is bleeding stomach ulcers. In addition to ulcers, increasing doses of ibuprofen eventually leads to kidney failure and, if left untreated, can be fatal.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Ibuprofen toxicity is generally diagnosed by a history of exposure and physical examination findings. Bloodwork is done to determine if substantial kidney damage has occurred.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. If ingestion was recent, activated charcoal may be given. Anti-ulcer medication such as sucralfate, Pepcid or Zantac are given. Pets with anemia due to bleeding ulcers may benefit from a blood transfusion. Fluid therapy is very important in pets with kidney damage. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.

What to Watch for*:

  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Black tarry stools
  • Vomiting blood
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy

 

*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!