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What is Ibuprofen Poisoning?

Most people have ibuprofen in their medicine cabinets, purses, drawers, or just somewhere in their house.  It is a common medication many of us take without a second thought which makes it one of the most common toxicities in pets.  While it isn’t harmful to the average person due to its wide margin of safety in people, a very small amount can be harmful to a dog.  Ibuprofen reduces production of inflammation but also reduces production of substances used to protect the lining of the stomach; this is what causes stomach ulcers in many toxicity cases.  Other side effects include other gastrointestinal distress, renal failure, and damage to the central nervous system.

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation in humans.  It is available in many generic forms, but the most common brand names include Advil, Midol, and Motrin.  If you see your pet consume the medication, you can induce vomiting to avoid the body beginning the absorption process, but if your pet ingests a significant amount or if you don’t realize it until some time has passed, you need to contact your vet immediately.

Ibuprofen Poisoning Average Cost

From 58 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,100

Symptoms of Ibuprofen Poisoning in Dogs

Some symptoms occur quickly, either immediately or within a few hours, such as vomiting and diarrhea.  Other symptoms may occur over time and you may not realize it, such as stomach ulcers.  Long term and short term symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Ataxia
  • Weakness
  • Tachycardia
  • Pale mucus membranes
  • Dyspnea
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Renal failure
  • Depression of the central nervous system
  • Death

Types

Ibuprofen is the generic name of the drug.  However, it is a component of many drugs that go by another name; their trade name.  Advil, Motrin (children and adults), Midol, and some allergy medications are just a few.  However, the generic name of ‘ibuprofen’ legally has to be on the medication label, so if you are unsure it contains it, just look on the label.  Ibuprofen comes in both liquid and solid form.

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Causes of Ibuprofen Poisoning in Dogs

Ibuprofen is quickly absorbed after it is consumed and begins to inhibit the production of COX-1 enzymes.  COX-1 enzymes produce the protective layer of the stomach, help maintain renal blood flow, and help platelets to clot when needed.  Since ibuprofen works against and prevents the production of these things, that’s what makes it so dangerous to dogs.  Not to mention some forms of ibuprofen have an additional ingredient that makes it sweet to dogs, increasing the chance of ingestion.

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Diagnosis of Ibuprofen Poisoning in Dogs

If there is the slightest chance your dog got into ibuprofen, please contact your veterinarian immediately.  Your vet will conduct a physical exam looking for any of the side effects listed above.  Blood work might also be suggested to get a better assessment of the damage:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Chemistry panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Renal panel

 Bring the bottle with you when you go to your veterinarian so they know exactly what may have been consumed.

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Treatment of Ibuprofen Poisoning in Dogs

The outcome all depends on the amount of ibuprofen ingested and the reaction time.  If inducing vomiting doesn’t work, your veterinarian may give your pet activated charcoal at intervals throughout the day.  This will prevent the GI tract from absorbing the medication and hopefully prevent the advancement of side effects.  Some cases may require your pet to receive fluid therapy, flushing of the stomach, additional medications to treat the resulting side effects (anti-emetic, soothing medications for the stomach, etc.), blood transfusions in serious cases, and other supportive care.

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Recovery of Ibuprofen Poisoning in Dogs

If the ingestion of ibuprofen was discovered and treated in a relatively quick time, prognosis is good with proper treatment.  However, if you wait too long to take your pet to the veterinarian, or if they consumed more than their system can handle, it is possible treatment will fail.  The sooner you take your pet to the veterinarian, the higher your chances of a full recovery.

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Ibuprofen Poisoning Average Cost

From 58 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,100

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Ibuprofen Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Cockapoo

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8 months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

My puppy got a hold of an Advil bottle - I heard it from the other room and while running to her heard her get the lid off. I am pretty positive she didn’t consume ANY - but what am I looking out for if she did and how long will it take to start showing? It’s been atleast 15 minutes and she’s acting totally normal

Sept. 13, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Kate D. MA VetMB MRCVS

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0 Recommendations

Hello, Thanks for contacting us about your puppy. You did a good job getting the advil away from her, and I understand you think it’s unlikely that she ate any, but aren’t sure. Ibuprofen poisoning in dogs can be extremely serious and life threatening. Because of this, if we are suspicious that she might have eaten advil, and we are still within the first four hours, the very best advice is to take her to a vet who can give her medicine to make her vomit. That way any tablets she took will be out of her body before she has a chance to absorb it. If we are outside of that magic four-hour window, the vet can still check her kidney function and may give her supportive medication. The symptoms of ibuprofen poisoning often only start after kidney damage has begun, and can include vomiting, diarrhoea and shaking. If treatment is only started adter symptoms show, the prognosis is not as good as the kidneys bave already taken the hit. I hope that is helpful and that she feels better soon.

Sept. 13, 2020

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Australian Shepherd

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Five Months

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

I found my dog laying on his bed, next to a pile of vomit. He was chewing on a pill container that contained Advil Liquid gels. I have no idea if he swallowed any before throwing up or if he threw up from all his crazy running around (which happens to him on occasion)

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. That is quite a serious problem. It would be best to have him seen by your veterinarian right away, and if he were my dog and I weren't sure if he had eaten any or a lot of the medication, I would have him hospitalized on IV fluids and check kidney values for 48 hours. I hope that he is okay.

Aug. 6, 2020

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Dachshund

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Four Months

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None Right Now

My dog swallowed ibuprofen about 10 minutes ago he is 4 month dachshund and I am so worried he swallowed 1 pill but it was 200 mg please help!

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. That is high dosage of ibuprofen for a small dog. It would be best to have him seen right away, either by your veterinarian, or at an ER. They can determine if he needs IV fluid therapy, and can examine him and prescribe stomach protectants if needed. I hope that he is okay.

Aug. 1, 2020

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Pit Bull

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

I accidentally gave my 64 lbs pit mix 200mg of ibuprofen after he had an accident and fell down the stairs and was having moderate back soreness. I realized my mistake too late and am worried about him.

July 30, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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Hello, So sorry to hear about your dog. It would be best for him to see a vet. If it has not been too long they can make him vomit. They can also give him activated charcoal to prevent his body from absorbing this medication. This medication will cause GI issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, or ulcers.

July 30, 2020

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Labrador Retriever

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Seven Months

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

Our 46 pound lab mix puppy ate one 200 mg and has shown no symptoms that would indicate any issues. Our vet suggested calling poison control but could not get through to anyone. Should we be worried or just keep an eye on him?

July 21, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I'm sorry that happened to him. Ibuprofen and Advil are not recommended in dogs generally, but if given the dose tends to be around 5 mg per kilogram. So your dog would have a safe dose of 100mg. Because that is quite a bit higher, I would be concerned for kidney disease or GI ulceration. It would be best to call your veterinarian, let them know what you found out, and see if they would advise fluid therapy or stomach protectants for your dog. I hope that all goes well!

July 21, 2020

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Delilah

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Labrador Retriever

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5 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

None

My 4 year Labrador ate one 200mg ibruprofen she weighs (33kg) 72lbs, she seems fine but really worried, will she be okay? I don’t think I could get her to a vet tonight but I think she’s within the threshold she might be okay?

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Zeus

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pitbull

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5 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

My month old pitbull ate almost a half of a bottle of ibuprofen and he's been fine for several days now. Just vomiting a couple times about every 4 hours or so.

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Merrick

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Newfoundland

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6 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

None

Hello! My 135lb (61kg) male Newfoundland (6yo) ate somewhere between 600 to 1000mg of Advil last night. I don’t have the finances for an emergency vet visit so researched online and have monitored him since—no signs of any abnormalities so far (18hrs later). He’s been urinating, pooping, sleeping, drinking, and eating like normal. No vomiting. Stools are solid and no blood present. I will continue to monitor him closely, but I am wondering—given his weight and the mg he ingested, what is the risk of internal organ damage? I was told by his previous owner that he once ingested a box of rat poison with seemingly no effects, so he seems pretty hearty!

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Brodi

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Mix

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7 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

My puppy got a hold of a bottle of Ibuprofen sometime between 9:30PM and 2:30 AM. I woke up at 2:30 AM, gave him a scratch then he hopped to the other side of the room to throw up. When that happened, I turned the lights on to realize that he had gotten into the bottle cleaned up all the pills and called Animal Poison Control. Guessing that he could have taken up to 15-25 200mg tablets, the operator encouraged me to take him to a over night veterinary clinic. We were able to get him there by 4:00 AM and they almost immediately went to work on him (they gave him charcoal medication, did blood work on him, and started him on fluids). From there, we took him to my local Animal Hospital to get a steady 48 hours of fluid. When I first brought him in his kidney reading was 1.6, now (I am meant to pick him up from his 48 hour hold today) his reading is 2.1. They decided to keep him on fluids for a few hours longer. Could this be Ibuprofen poisoning or Kidney Damage? I am so so worried for him and don't know what to do. Could this damage be reversed? How can I help him? **He threw up twice at home (before heading to the clinic) and once in the car (once we arrived at the clinic) He has not thrown up since but has had diarrhea once while at the hospital but they did not seem too worried since he was on fluid.

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Jackie

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jack russell mix

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4 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None Yet

My dog got ahold of an ibuprofen tablet somehow, but I believe it was only one and she didn’t actually eat it, just licked off the coating. Is the coating still dangerous? Should I take her to the vet? She is not showing any symptoms yet but it has only been 20-30 minutes since I found her with it. She weighs about 15 pounds.

Ibuprofen Poisoning Average Cost

From 58 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,100

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