|A common question I get in the veterinary clinic is about whether it is okay to give a dog or cat aspirin for pain, or for reduction of fever or inflammation. The answer to this question will vary depending upon the clinical history and age of the pet, as well as whether other prescription drugs are being used.
If there is any history of digestive upset, bleeding tendencies or kidney/liver disease then it is important to have a full veterinary medical exam, in addition to possibly blood and/or urine testing before starting aspirin for even a short period of time.
In healthy adult dogs not on any other prescription cortisone or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e. Rimadyl, Previcox, or Deramaxx), then aspirin at a dose of 5 mg per pound once to twice daily with food for a few days may be used for pain, inflammation and fever management. If there is no improvement in clinical signs within a few days, then veterinary consultation is recommended before aspirin therapy is continued.
One must be much more careful with cats in dosing aspirin or any other non-steroidal anti- inflammatory medication. Because of the feline unique liver drug detoxification pathways, I do NOT recommend animal guardians dose cats with any aspirin unless they first consult with a veterinarian. If a cat is cleared of health problems, than a small dose of 1/2 baby aspirin every 3 days may be used. It is important to recognize that even very low doses of Tylenol can kill a cat, and therefore Tylenol should never be used in any cat.