There are some over the counter medications that will help any symptoms of illness your pet may have. However, assuming that human medications are safe for animal use can be detrimental to their health. These may not be effective at all. Discussing your options with a Veterinarian is always a good idea before beginning therapy. Clearly describe the symptoms to the veterinarian and remember that your pet needs to visit the doctor if these persist. There are some over the counter medications that we can discuss for pet therapy.
OTC Medications and Pets
Aspirin should never be given to cats for the relief of pain or inflammation, but it can be given to dogs for the short term only. Although regular Aspirin can be administered, buffered Aspirin (Bufferin) is less harmful to your pet’s stomach. Aspirin must always be given with the pet’s food up to twice each day. Continued usage can be dangerous to certain animals as Aspirin has blood thinning properties. There are veterinary-specific medications that are better for long term pain relief. It is also important to check the quantities you may administer your pet with their size and weight.
Pepto-Bismal must never be given to cats, but it can be administered to dogs. You can give one teaspoon every 4 to 6 hours, per 20 pounds of weight, for up to 24 hours or until symptoms of vomiting or an upset stomach are resolved.
Benadryl is used for treating itching and swelling that may be due to allergic reactions either short or long term. As an antihistamine it may not be very effective on cats, although it is safe to use. There are various other prescribed antihistamines that are more commonly used.
Dramamine is an antihistamine that works very well for the prevention of motion sickness for both dogs and cats. It is most effective when administered at least half an hour before the journey.
Nasal sprays such as pediatric or saline sprays may be given to dogs, cats, puppies and kittens to help relieve symptoms of nasal congestion or dryness associated with a cold. Unless specifically prescribed by a veterinarian, no other sprays should be used.
The list for OTC medications goes on and on, but it is always safer to check with your veterinarian before administering. However, there are some medications that can be exceptionally dangerous to your pet and should never be used. These include Aspirin, Tylenol, Pepto Bismol (cats), Ibuprofen and Kaopectate, which may be toxic to both cats and dogs. It is your responsibility to administer OTC medications with caution, as a pet owner.
*Disclaimer: AnimalPlex is not a substitute for veterinary advice. Please seek professional medical advise before medicating your pet, and for proper doses.