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Pet Medication 101: Aspirin

aspirin for dogs

It’s important to understand a medication’s uses and side effects before giving it to your pet. This medication info sheet is meant to give you a good understanding of what aspirin is used for, how it works, and potential side effects in cats and dogs. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your pet any medication, including aspirin.

1. Drug Name:


2. Common Name or Brand Name(s):

Many different brand names (Bayer, etc.)

3. How Dispensed:

Over-the-counter and prescription

4. Forms:

Available in tablets, granules, and boluses (for animal use), buffered and unbuffered (uncoated and coated). Common strengths are 81 mg and 325 mg.

5. Drug Type/Class:

Aspirin is in a group of medications called salicylates and is also a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID).

6. Uses in Cats and Dogs:

Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fever, platelet aggregate inhibitor

7. How it Works:

COX2 inhibitor (reduces prostaglandin and thromboxane synthesis). These substances trigger many processes in the body, including inflammation.

8. Side Effects and/or Signs of Overdose:

Nausea, anorexia, and vomiting, with or without blood, are the most common. Bleeding from GI tract.

9. Drug Interactions:

Too many to list - some potential drug interactions include ACE inhibitors, antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, some heart and arthritis medications.

Aspirin should never be given to a pet that is taking steroids (this can lead to GI ulceration or liver and kidney problems).

10. Cautionary Statements:

Do not give unless directed by your veterinarian. Aspirin is very dangerous in cats, especially. Stop using one week before scheduled surgery to decrease the risk of bleeding.

Read more:

Signs of Pain in Dogs

Signs of Pain in Dogs

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