Tylenol Toxicity in Canines

by Naomi Millburn
    Never offer your furry buddy anything unless you have prior vet approval.

    Never offer your furry buddy anything unless you have prior vet approval.

    George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    Although a lot of people use Tylenol for the temporary management of discomfort such as headaches, that in no way means that the pain reliever is appropriate or safe for animals, including dogs. Tylenol contains acetaminophen, which is severely hazardous not only to canines, but also to felines and other creatures.

    Acetaminophen is an analgesic that can trigger a lot of potential problems in dogs who consume it. If your pooch experiences poisoning after eating anything that contains acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, he might display any of several key indications. These tell-tale indications generally pop up just hours after dogs eat acetaminophen, and include exhaustion, swelling, depression, difficulty breathing, feebleness, stomach ache, decreased tearing ability, absence of appetite, lowered body temperature, the passing of unusually dark bowel movements and throwing up. Some canines who are poisoned by acetaminophen even fall into comas. Tylenol toxicity is no joke in dogs, and can sometimes even bring upon permanent liver damage.

    Never give your pooch any acetaminophen, period. The poisonous dosage amount for acetaminophen in a canine is 45 milligrams for each pound he weighs. Consumption of acetaminophen is even riskier in cats, with a poisonous dosage of around 22 milligrams for every pound. Acetaminophen toxicity in cats can trigger destruction of red blood cells.

    Tylenol toxicity is a serious situation that requires urgent veterinary care, no exceptions. Whether or not you know for certain that your dog ingested acetaminophen, get him medical attention immediately. Your veterinarian might evaluate what's going on by conducting blood work and analyzing your pet's urine. Typical management options for this toxicity are intravenous fluid therapy or use of activated charcoal and blood transfusions. After observing your pet's specific case, the vet can decide on the most appropriate options for your pet. With prompt management, many dogs are capable of getting out of this daunting medical emergency.

    Apart from simply not offering any Tylenol to your dog, you can also ensure his protection from acetaminophen by being extremely careful about his potential access to it. If it's even remotely possible that your curious cutie might climb up to your bathroom cabinet, consider what you can do to increase his security and your peace of mind, such as investing in a reliable lock for it. Remember that persistent dogs sometimes rapidly gnaw their way into bottles of medication -- not safe at all.

    Photo Credits

    • George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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