Aspirin and pet liver

Our question this week was:

Why is aspirin not good for dogs and cats? How does the difference in these pets’ livers allow dogs to consume small amounts of aspirin and cats none?

Meghan Kelly


Small doses of aspirin can be acceptable in some pets but only given under strict instruction of your veterinarian. Toxicity can occur when given inappropriately or in high does.

Aspirin toxicity (salicylate toxicity) occurs following the ingestion of aspirin or aspirin-containing products. Cats are more susceptible to the effects of aspirin than are dogs because they are unable to metabolize the drug as quickly. Young animals are more susceptible to the toxic effects than are adult animals.

Aspirin toxicity may cause gastrointestinal problems, respiratory difficulties, neurological problems, bleeding disorders, and kidney failure. Gastrointestinal problems are common in dogs whereas central nervous system depression is most common in cats.

Aspirin Toxicity in Cats

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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