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What is Ibuprofen Poisoning?

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation in humans. It's available in many generic forms, but the most common brand names include Advil, Midol, and Motrin. 

Most people have ibuprofen in their medicine cabinets, purses, drawers, or just somewhere in their house. It's a common medication many of us take without a second thought, which makes it one of the most common causes of poisoning in dogs. While it's suitable for human use, a very small amount of ibuprofen can be harmful to a dog. 

As well as reducing inflammation, ibuprofen also reduces the production of substances used to protect the lining of the stomach; this is what causes stomach ulcers in many toxicity cases. Other side effects can include other gastrointestinal distress, renal failure, and damage to the central nervous system.

If your pet ingests ibuprofen, seek veterinary attention straight away. 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, 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 of ibuprofen poisoning in dogs, like vomiting and diarrhea, occur quickly, either immediately or within a few hours. Other symptoms, like stomach ulcers, may take longer to develop. Long-term and short-term symptoms include:

Types

Ibuprofen is the generic name of the drug. It's also known by brand names such as Advil, Motrin, and Midol. Ibuprofen is also used as an ingredient in some allergy medications and other products. However, the generic name of "ibuprofen" legally has to be on the medication label, so if you're unsure whether a product contains this drug, just check the label. Ibuprofen is available as a liquid or pill.

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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 substances, it can be very dangerous to dogs. 

Some well-intentioned pet parents give their dog ibuprofen for pain relief, believing it's safe. In other situations, a dog may help themselves to their human's medication, with the sweet coating on some ibuprofen tablets increasing the chance of ingestion.

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Diagnosis of Ibuprofen Poisoning in Dogs

If there's even a slight chance your dog ingested 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 recommended to get a better assessment of the damage. Key tests include:

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

If you can, bring the medication packaging with you to the vet so they know exactly what your dog consumed.

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Treatment of Ibuprofen Poisoning in Dogs

The outcome of ibuprofen poisoning treatment depends on the amount of ibuprofen your dog ingested and how quickly you react. 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 severe cases of ibuprofen poisoning may require fluid therapy, flushing of the stomach, additional anti-vomiting or antacid medication, blood transfusions, or other supportive care.

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Recovery of Ibuprofen Poisoning in Dogs

The sooner you take your pet to the veterinarian, the higher their chances of a full recovery. The prognosis for dogs diagnosed and treated quickly is good. However, if you wait too long to take your pet to the veterinarian, or if they consumed more than their system can handle, it's possible treatment will fail. Always keep human medications and other toxins out of your pets' reach.

Ibuprofen poisoning can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your dog is at risk of ibuprofen poisoning, start searching for pet insurance today. Wag!’s pet insurance comparison tool lets you compare plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Embrace. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

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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

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Beagle

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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5 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

I caught him chewing on an empty 200mg Advil liquigel. He weighs about 24 pounds (he’s taller than average, not fat)

March 4, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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5 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. From your description, I'm not sure if your dog has a problem or not. There are many more details that I would need to know, like did they eat the capsule and is empty or was it empty and they ate it? When did this happen? How are they doing, is there any diarrhea or vomiting? The best thing to do may be to call your veterinarian or the nearest ER, and let them know what is going on, so that they can get the details needed to give you the right information. I hope that your dog is okay.

March 4, 2021

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Pug

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4 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

None Yet

I’m not positive but I think my puppy may have eaten an ibuprofen pill but I’m not 100% sure 😩😩😩about 10 minutes ago

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I am sorry for the delay, this platform is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pup is okay and did not eat the pill. For future reference, it would be best for a possible toxin emergency to call either a 24 hour clinic in your area, or a Pet Poison Control Hotline, and have both your dogs weight and the name and strength of mediation or other possible thing that your dog may have eaten. They will be able to help you determine quickly whether you need to take action or whether things will be okay.

Oct. 10, 2020

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Ibuprofen Poisoning Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$2,100

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