Can dogs take ibuprofen for arthritis?

Our question this week was:

Can you give a dog of 125 lbs. ibuprofen for their arthritis?

Linda Peshek.


Hi – thanks for your email. This a tough question for veterinarians. Many dogs are sensitive to ibuprofen and can suffer from severe signs of toxicity – known as Ibuprofen Toxicity. Ibuprofen is in a class of drugs referred to as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).

Routine administration or overdosage can cause signs of toxicity which can be life-threatening.

To answer your question, yes, some dogs can take ibuprofen for some problems. However, there are better and safer NSAIDS for dogs available through your veterinarian. My question would be – why do you think your dog needs ibuprofen?

If you think your dog is in pain- I'd recommend seeing your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause for the pain and to recommend the best medication to threat that condition. Commonly used pain medications for dogs include: Deracoxib (Deramaxx®),Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin) , Carprofen (Rimadyl®, Novox®), Etodolac (EtoGesic®), Tepoxalin (Zubrin®) and Meloxicam (Metacam®) to name but a few of the vast array of drugs in this group. As with all drugs it is important to be aware of their side effects. The aim is to use the minimum dose that produces a beneficial effect.

If you do use ibuprofen – make sure you don't overdose him and be very sensitive to the signs of toxicity. An article that might be helpful to you is Ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®, etc.) which indicates the dosages that are safe to use in dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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