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How to Keep Your Dog's Mouth Healthy

Pain in dogs may result from various causes. In general pain is classified into two based on severity and duration

- Acute pain

- Chronic pain

Acute pain may be due to sudden traumatic injury to the body or may be as a result of surgery. Chronic pain on the other hand is as a result long standing conditions in the body such as arthritis.

In managing pain veterinarians use various drugs; a commonly used drug for managing pain in dog is aspirin. Aspirin or acetylsalicyclic acid is a salicyclate classified under a group of drugs called NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Aspirin exerts its action by blocking enzymes that are involved in synthesis of prostaglandins. These prostaglandins normally play a role in the inflammatory reaction.

By decreasing prostaglandin synthesis, aspirin acts as an anti-inflammatory drug. Aspirin is also good for pain management. It is especially used in managing pain in dogs suffering from arthritis with good results. However this drug has been found to have serious side effects that have made beterinarians side track it for newer safer drugs.

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Some of these side effects include:

- Potential to cause ulcers especially in dogs that are on prolonged aspirin therapy

- It is a potent anticoagulant thus should be used in caution in dogs suffering from bleeding disorders. Dosage should also be reduced in dogs on other anticoagulants.

- Though not common, aspirin may in some cases cause severe gastrointestinal bleeding and kidney damage.

These side effects can though unavoidable at times can be countered through

- Consulting with the vet and getting a prescription. Many people make the mistake of buying aspirin over the counter.  This is dangerous since the drug may interfere with other drugs the dogs may be on. Also the side effects are unforeseen and may be fatal

- When giving the dog aspirin, give it during meal times. This will reduce the amount of irritation on the stomach mucosa.

- Do not give chronically ill animals aspirin especially those suffering from liver or kidney damage. This is since the animal may be unable to metabolize the drug resulting in accumulation of the drug in the body.

EQuine dog care

It is important to note that most over the counter aspirin is for human use and not for vet use. Human aspirin is enteric coated to ensure that the drug is not released before it reaches the intestines. This enteric coating makes it unsuitable for use in animals especially dog since it is difficult to predict the amount that will be available for absorption.

The aspirin used in dogs should be rather buffered. Buffering is where an antacid is included in the drug. The dosage rate for aspirin is 10mg/kg body weight. Tablets are given after every 12hrs. The dose may be increased or reduced depending on kind and degree of pain.

Aspirin is used in caution in pregnant animals since it may cause birth defects. Young pups shouldn’t be given aspirin; this is since they are unable to metabolize this drug.

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