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Painkillers and your Pet...

Painkillers and your Pet...
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We are receiving many questions asking if you can give your pet paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin. We understand that during lockdown combined with the difficulty of bringing your pet to the vets that the easier option may be to medicate them yourselves. Unfortunately, poisoning is common and we advise strongly against this.

Firstly, would you recognise the stages of pain in your pet?


  • Vocalisation (growling, whining, hissing)
  • Guarding the part of their body in pain.
  • Reluctance to move
  • Hunched posture
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Reluctance to walk, hiding
  • Inappetence
  • Increased breathing rate


Pain relief is a very large group of drugs. The two main being,

 1. Non-Steroids Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID’s)

These include ibuprofen, aspirin.

 2. Opioids

These include morphine, codeine, fentanyl

Unfortunately whilst being good at relieving pain all of these drugs have side effects.



Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Stomach Ulcers.

Ibuprofen – is incredibly dangerous to dogs.

Paracetamol – can cause liver failure, swelling and damage to the blood. It can be fatal in cats.


Can cause difficulty breathing, coma, and constipation.

Humans can break down most painkillers faster than pets can.


Why do we prescribe these drugs if they are dangerous?  

It’s our role to never leave a pet in pain. But with pain relief, we can control it. That’s why we regularly check your pet if they are on pain relief, taking blood tests to check their liver and kidney function and that they are not suffering any side effects

Do not give your pet any pain relief from your medicine box – call your vet and we will give you the advice to keep your pet pain free and safe.