Monday , 19 February 2018

Ask A Vet: Can I give my dog Aleve?

Q: Is Aleve (Naproxen) dangerous for dogs?

A: When a dog is experiencing pain, worried owners are usually very eager to give medication to ease that pain, but giving human medications can compound the problems. Of all the over the counter medicines for pain available, aspirin is usually the safest to give. With regards to arthritis, aspirin is sometimes used for dogs, but only with caution and under veterinary supervision. If your dog has an issue with blood clotting or has any underlying kidney or stomach problems, it could be harmful. I almost always suggest a vet visit if a dog has had muscle pain for more than 24-48 hours. Drugs containing acetaminophen (e.g. Tyelenol) are very toxic, and potentially fatal to both dogs and cats.

Aspirin is in a class of drugs called NSAIDs: Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, and dogs are particularly sensitive to the gastrointestinal effects of these drugs. Ibuprofen (brand names such as Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) and Naproxen (brand names such as Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox, Naprelan), also fall under the NSAID category but are not safe to use with dogs.

Naproxen is a popular and effective over-the-counter ibuprofen medication available to treat pain and inflammation in people. For dogs, naproxen can easily exceed toxic levels. The most common cause of naproxen toxicity is a well-meaning owner trying to alleviate pain in his dog who gives the medication without knowing the toxic dose. The initial toxic effect is bleeding stomach ulcers. In addition to ulcers, increasing doses of naproxen eventually leads to kidney failure and, if left untreated, can be fatal.

All NSAIDs decrease the body’s production of prostaglandins, one of the main drivers of inflammation, by blocking enzymes involved in prostaglandin formation (COX enzymes) The earlier ones, like aspirin and ibuprofen, are not very selective in which of the COX enzymes they block, so they produce greater side effects. The more modern NSAIDs block a specific COX enzyme (COX-2) that is mainly involved in the production of inflammatory prostaglandins. These are the NSAIDs you see advertised for dogs. These include Metacam, Deramaxx and Previcox, all great alternatives to aspirin for dogs.

Hope this answers your question,


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  1. Matt a dog owner

    No. You didn’t answer the question. Can you use Aleve or not?! Pfffttt

    • The question WAS answered! 🙂 >>>> Ibuprofen (brand names such as Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) and Naproxen (brand names such as Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox, Naprelan), also fall under the NSAID category but are not safe to use with dogs.

  2. In one week 2 dogs died and one had to have stomach surgery and my dog nearly died from taking the wonder drug previcox. A new vet was passing it out like candy at my veterinary hospital This is a dangerous drug that was banned under the name Viox for humans because it eats holes in the stomach and damages the liver. My big dog was throwing up blood after 2 pills. he nearly died and after a year his liver is failing. Always read everything you can and the manufacturers website tests before you agree to any new medication for your pet. merk, who makes this, considered a 1 in 5 mortality rate and a 3 in 5 dangerous reaction okay for dispensing.

  3. Yes it helped answer the question I had about aleve thank u I’m sorry to hear about the lady dog the vet her dog viox .what now we have to research every drug our vet gives our animal.

  4. Over a year ago my dog was diagnosed with a hip problem so I decided to try liquid glucosamine and it actually practically healed my dogs arthritis then she started limping again so I assumed it was her hips but once she started crying a lot I went online and read an article that a vet had wrote how it is safe to give a little piece of aspirin to your dog so I did that and now my dog is holding on for dear life like transfusions kidney failure spitting up blood and everything else so please everyone out there with a pet do not believe anything that is wrote in the computer from a veterinarian because they have nothing else better to do than assume to you and let you think that anything is good for your dog please just be aware of some of the vets out there ..

    • Hi there! Thanks for your comment. We take the information we provide to our readers very seriously. Dr. Lissa is an amazing veterinarian we know personally.
      If you read the article here again, you will note that Dr. Lissa does NOT recommend Aspirin for dogs except under strict veterinary supervision as it can cause serious side effects. It is much safer to use a vet-prescribed NSAID. We are sorry you were misinformed somewhere else (there is indeed, a lot of bad information online) – and hope your dog is doing okay. ALWAYS consult a vet before giving any medications to your animal.

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