Naproxen for dogs: Side Effects and Alternatives


Medically reviewed by Nicole Wanner, DVM
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As our dogs get older, they often start developing joint pain and issues associated with old age, such as arthritis. Watching them suffer is heartbreaking, and it’s in our nature to want to do everything we can to make sure their golden years are happy and pain-free.


We often assume that the drugs we take to ease our physical pain will have the same effectiveness in treating our dog’s illness. That is not always true.

Some drugs, especially Naproxen, while perfectly safe for us, can be very hazardous for our dogs if not used correctly.

WHAT IS NAPROXEN?

Naproxen is an over-the-counter NSAID used by people to reduce pain, decrease fever, and combat inflammation. Most people recognize Naproxen by its brand names of Naprosyn®, Aleve®, or Midol®.

In higher doses (above 250mg), the doctor can prescribe this drug to people for the treatment of various diseases, including arthritis, lupus, gout, and cancer.

Sometimes a vet will prescribe Naproxen to treat pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in dogs.

Naproxen is considered safe for humans, but this drug is very poisonous when given to dogs due to its potency and high risk of overdose.

Even in doses as small as 220mg, just one tablet can cause severely negative symptoms, and even death, regardless of the size of the dog.

Therefore, Naproxen is the last resort drug for dogs when other options do not relieve the pain.

DOSAGE OF NAPROXEN

Due to its potency and high risk of overdose, you should never give your dog Naproxen without consulting with your vet first. Likely, your vet will instead recommend another NSAID medication that is proven to be safer for dogs.

However, if prescribed by your vet, the dosage will range from 0.5mg to 1.5mg per pound. Dosage of 0.9mg per pound is the most common. The frequency of administering this drug is usually every other day or every 48 hours.

SIDE EFFECTS OF NAPROXEN FOR DOGS

After administering Naproxen, if you notice any of the following side effects, you should contact your vet immediately.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Stumbling
  • Ulcers
  • Vomiting (with or without blood)
  • Weakness

If your dog is suffering from blood disorders, kidney disease, liver disease, or heart failure, make sure you discuss all of your options with your vet before administering Naproxen.

HOW DOES NAPROXEN INTERACT WITH OTHER DRUGS?

Naproxen can have interactions when taken with other drugs such as Aluminum Hydroxide, Corticosteroids, Furosemide, Methotrexate, and Warfarin Sodium.

It can also have interactions when taken with other NSAIDs.

Don’t combine Naproxen with medications that can cause ulceration of the digestive tract.


NATURAL ALTERNATIVES TO NAPROXEN FOR DOGS

Before you think about putting your dog on Naproxen, we encourage you to ask your vet about CBD oil for dogs.

A Cornell University study concluded that dogs with Arthritis showed a significant decrease in pain and increased activity with CBD oil at 2mg/kg twice a day, which is the same dose as our CBD oil for dogs. The dogs in the study also showed no adverse side effects.

An extensive 2017 review of many studies found substantial evidence that cannabis may be able to treat chronic pain in some situations effectively.

While more research is needed, it's clear that CBD has the potential to help many dogs.

References

https://www.dvm360.com/view/toxicology-brief-naproxen-toxicosis-dogs

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

https://www.jimmunol.org/content/204/1_Supplement/67.11

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Ever since she was a puppy, she’d spend her days running and playing. I’d take her on walks, to the beach, and dog parks.

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