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Medications You Should Never Try With Your Dog

When your dog is sick, your natural inclination is to help him or her feel better as soon as possible. You may immediately take your pup to the vet, or you may turn to the internet, family or friends for advice.
CityDog Magazine
Some pet owners listen to their gut instinct or personal knowledge first. While none of these are necessarily bad methods, you should know there are lots of medications and treatments you should never use on your dog - even if they've been recommended in the past. Because these are considered safe for humans, the list may surprise you.

1. NSAIDs for Pain and Fever Relief
NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen are readily available on pharmacy shelves, and they are widely considered safe for human consumption. These two facts alone could mislead pet owners into believing NSAIDs are also safe for dogs. However, NSAIDs like Aleve (the brand name of naproxen) and Advil (the brand name of ibuprofen) are actually incredibly dangerous for dogs, often leading to stomach ulcers and bleeding or even kidney failure. To avoid these issues, please keep all NSAIDs away from your pets at all times. If your pet has a fever or is in pain, your vet may prescribe an NSAID that is formulated specifically for dogs.

2. Steroids for Cushing's Disease
Steroids are an acceptable treatment for certain conditions in your dog, but they should absolutely never be administered without a vet's guidance and recommendation. The overuse or misuse of steroids can lead to many severe health conditions for dogs including Cushing's disease, obesity and a weakened immune system. While some veterinarians will actually recommend steroids as a treatment for Cushing's disease, others may recommend a drug like Vetoryl instead. The type of treatment largely depends on the type of Cushing's disease your dog has, along with the severity of the symptoms and the possible side effects of the treatment options. You should never attempt to treat or diagnose Cushing's disease by yourself; improper care can have serious health effects for your dog.

3. Adderall for Hyperactivity
Many dogs experience occasional episodes of hyperactivity, and some may even need medical treatment to help them calm down from time to time. The stress of a pet that has constant energy and even destructive behavior may cause pet owners to take matters into their own hands. Because Adderall is the primary treatment for humans with ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), it logically follows that this medication may work effectively for dogs as well. Unfortunately, the opposite is true: ADHD medications like Adderall work in the reverse on pets, making them hyper and restless. It is a stimulant for canines, and it can cause serious side effects, such as increased heart rate and even seizures. If your pup's hyperactivity seems abnormal, it is best to take him or her to the vet for evaluation and possible treatment options.

Dogs Need Special Care
While pet owners almost always have the best of intentions when it comes to caring for their pets, it is possible to cause further harm to your dog if you aren't careful. Dogs, cats and other pets all require their own specialized care, which means regular visits to your vet are essential. If your pet is experiencing concerning symptoms, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Once there, don't be afraid to ask questions to help find the best course of treatment possible for your pet. Be sure to ask about possible side effects of any prescribed medication, and watch your dog carefully for signs of these side effects or additional complications.

Listed below are some helpful resources referenced in the article that can provide some guidance for those looking for helpful information on pet supplies & medication:

Allivet Pet Pharmacy and Canine Companions for Independence
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