Aspirin? for Dogs? Is it Safe?

I just had a second dog come in along with a big honking bottle of Aspirin.  I cringed just a little.

I saw this same bottle the last time I was in the pet store and I cringed there too.

The answer to "is it safe?"  is  both "yes. and no."

Aspirin is a NSAID. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.  People take it for a variety of reasons.
And dogs can take it too, but it needs to be monitored closely for side effects.

I like how this says Veterinary Formulated.  That doesn't mean Veterinary Recommended.

There are 2 pathways when talking about inflammation-  Cox-1 and Cox-2.  There are some good things about Cox-1.  Protecting the stomach lining. protecting the kidneys.  Effects on Platelets and Red Blood Cells.   The Cox-2 pathway deals more with inflammation.  

Aspirin suppresses both pathways.  The good effects of Cox 1 and the bad effects of Cox 2.   If a dog is taking aspirin for arthritis and degenerative joint disease/ aging, the newer NSAIDs  tend to suppress more of Cox 2, and spare Cox 1,  leaving the good benefits alone.  Rimadyl, Derramax, Metacam are a few of these.   That is why veterinarians recommend these drugs over aspirin.   And because they are prescription, I can monitor the patients taking the medications for side effects before they get serious.

 I have no idea what people are giving their pet from the pet store.  I worry that people will assume that since Aspirin is so readily available, it must be safe, or safer, than other options.  That isn't the case.
The only thing that is more beneficial about aspirin is that it is cheap.  

Cheaper? Yes.  More Effacious? No  Safer?  No.

Here's one article about aspirin usage in dogs. 

Here's an article from Wiley that explains the Cox1 and Cox 2 pathways (about halfway down the page). 

Boo started walking outside on a leash this past week.  And she finally pooped outside yesterday.  HOORAY!

 Have a nice Easter weekend.  Stay safe if you are traveling.

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