Anyone who has seen their dog in pain has probably considered giving him an over the counter pain medication. Unfortunately, dog's systems are very different than ours, and over the counter pain meds will make them very sick. While Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Acetaminophen are all very dangerous for your four legged friend, today we are going to focus on the dangers of Acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol. Whether you have given your dog Tylenol on purpose for pain or he ingested it on accident,the dangers are the same. The average dog typically experiences acetaminophen toxicity at 165mg per pound of body weight. While these are the levels at which things can become life threatening any amount can cause damage to your dog's internal organs. If you think your dog may have ingested Tylenol the best thing you can do is get him to the vet right away. If it has been within the last 15 minutes they will likely induce vomiting to try and rid the pills from his stomach before they are dissolved. It it has been longer than 30 minutes they will more than likely just begin supportive care. No matter how much time has passed your vet will want to do bloodwork to check all of your dog's organ functions and a urinalysis to determine the level of toxicity. Some symptoms of Tylenol poisoning that you and your vet can watch out for are: labored breathing Vomiting Jaundice - this is when the dog's skin and the whites of his eyes take on a yellow tinge this is usually indicative of liver issues Hypothermia or reduced body temperature, this may also be accompanied by shivering Swelling in the face, neck, or legs Brown, blue, or grey colored gums Lethargy Coma Tylenol is designed to be quickly digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, unfortunately for dogs, their bodies aren't made to handle this drug and it can quickly cause two effects. The first is major liver damage, when the acetaminophen breaks down substances from the drug attach to liver cells damaging them, if enough damage occurs it will lead to liver failure. The second possible side effect is red blood cell damage. Like the liver cells red blood cells can bind with substances created when the acetaminophen breaks down. This binding causes the hemoglobin in the blood to no longer be up to the task of carrying oxygen around the dog's body. This reaction changes the dog's blood from red to brown and can cause multiple organ failure as the organs stop receiving the oxygen they need. Some treatments for Tylenol toxicity include blood transfusions, IV fluids, and medication. There is one specific medication on the market called N-acetylcysteine, this medication limits the formation of the substances that binds to the liver and blood cells. With the right treatment and a little luck animals can survive Tylenol toxicity, but it is critical they get to a vet immediately. The easiest way to treat this condition is to avoid it altogether by keeping your medicines in a locked cabinet or drawer your dog can't open! If your dog is in pain from a recent injury or is suffering from a chronic issue like arthritis the best thing you can do is get a pain medication prescribed by your vet. There are several animal specific pain meds on the market that are both safe and effective for treating your pup's pains. For arthritis or joint issues, a great supplement can go a long way in helping with pain management. Pain Plus is one such supplement, recommended by my dog's chiropractor, this supplement is meant to naturally help with the aches and pains dogs experience. While no supplement works overnight, if you stick to giving this daily you will begin to notice a difference in just a few weeks. This supplement is even available on amazon to make things convenient. http://www.amazon.com/Genesis-Resources-Canine-Pain-Formula/dp/B004EK8UEK/ref=sr12?ie=UTF8&qid=1456076580&sr=8-2&keywords=pain+plus When it comes to issues of pain I can not say enough about the importance of Chiropractic care for our four-legged friends. Dogs and cats sometimes show us they are in pain in ways we may not understand, like aggression or refusing to eat. My own dog became very aggressive a few months after I adopted him, I ran blood work and had him completely checked over by my vet, I consulted trainers and experts on his breed and everyone recommended euthanasia. I was lucky enough to meet an amazing chiropractor before I could make the dreaded decision and after just one adjustment my dog was back to his normal goofy self. If your dog is experiencing pain and you find yourself reaching for that bottle of Tylenol stop and call a local chiropractor to schedule your dog an appointment, then head over to amazon.com to find him a supplement to help with his pain. No matter how much pain he is in, a trip to the vet will always cost you less in the long run than an experiment with over the counter pain medications.
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