We live in a marvellous time, with childhood mortality at its lowest in modern history, we live longer than ever before, and diseases that were previously commonplace are relegated to the bottom of the history draw.
We certainly live in a time where medicine has made significant improvements to the quality and quantity of our lives. We now have an ever increasing access to many of those modern medicines the generations prior could not experience. We know that if we have an ache or pain its easy for us to grab some medication to help us get through the day
So it is only natural that the ubiquitous nurse of these medications can sometimes lead us to forget that they can be quite powerful. As our pets become increasingly important part of our families, we can witness the improved quality and wellness the of their lives also. Which may lead us to believe that we can just simply grab some of our medication and give it to our pets as a way to relieve their pain. The danger here is that our pets are not human and there biological systems do not metabolisable process these medications as we do. And this may lead to harm
Ibuprofen is a very useful anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication for people. It does this through blocking prostaglandin production. Now prostaglandins are an important part of our body system and come in all different shapes and sizes. Important prostaglandins are needed by the body for producing mucus to protect the stomach lining, or to regulate blood flow through the kidney. Inflammatory prostaglandins occur or are produced when our body experiences injury and they contribute to ongoing pain and tissue damage.
However using anti-inflammatories could lead to problems in the stomach and the kidney, Ibuprofen is quite likely to cause stomach problems interspecies for which it is not desired. Ibuprofen is not a good and analgesic in dogs and it is more than likely to cause stomach ulcers. Dogs with stomach ulcers can present vomiting, inappetent, or vomiting blood. We may also see Melena (blood in this stool, which causes a blackish appearance of the faeces) and the effects of blood loss can produce and anaemia and shock.
If left untreated this could be fatal so it is very important to seek that pre-treatment if you suspect your pet has had access to human medications.
Another example is paracetamol. In cats paracetamol will damage the red blood cells causing a condition called methaemoglobinaemia. This leads to a lack of oxygen carrying capacity in the blood and ultimately tissue hypoxic, vessels are starved of oxygen.
It is very important to avoid the inappropriate use of medications in species for which they are not desired. There are many more in example of good drugs when used deliberately or inadvertently that can cause a bad outcome.