Advanced Pet First Aid Level 3 (VTQ)

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Ibuprofen and pets

Video 92 of 138
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Ibuprofen Poisoning in Pets

Understanding Ibuprofen and Its Dangers for Pets

Introduction to Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter painkiller belonging to the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). While commonly used for pain relief in humans, it can be fatal when ingested by pets.

Risks and Effects of Ibuprofen in Pets

Dangers of Ibuprofen for Pets

  • Pets can inadvertently access Ibuprofen by consuming dropped tablets or being given the medication, often mistakenly, by their owners.
  • Ibuprofen inhibits COX enzymes, which protect the gastrointestinal tract, regulate kidney blood flow, and control platelet function.
  • Inhibition of COX enzymes can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting (sometimes with blood), nausea, diarrhoea (sometimes with blood), and gastric ulcers.
  • Reduced kidney blood flow results in kidney damage, leading to increased thirst, increased urination, and decreased urine volume.
  • Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, weight loss, seizures, in-coordination, coma, and death.

Recognizing and Treating Ibuprofen Poisoning

Actions to Take if Ibuprofen Poisoning is Suspected

  • If you suspect your pet has consumed Ibuprofen, provide your vet with a detailed medical history.
  • Vets typically perform blood and urine tests to assess kidney damage and associated symptoms.
  • Treatment varies based on the amount and timing of ingestion.
  • For recent ingestion, inducing vomiting may be recommended to remove tablets from the stomach.
  • Activated charcoal may be administered to absorb Ibuprofen in the stomach.
  • Severely damaged kidneys may require fluid therapy and blood or plasma transfusions.
  • Vomiting can be controlled using medications, and gastrointestinal protectants may be prescribed.
  • Surgical correction may be necessary for gastric perforation, and anticonvulsant drugs may be used for seizures.

Preventing Ibuprofen Poisoning in Pets

Keep Medications Secure

The best prevention is to store all medications safely away from pets to avoid accidental ingestion.