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Tylenol for Dogs

By | Last Updated : 2nd January 2018

What is Tylenol

Tylenol is a medication primarily used to treat fever and pain, and secondarily for the treatment of headaches, cough, cold, influenza and allergies. The active ingredient of this medicine is acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol). [1, 2]

Can you safely give a dog Tylenol

Although not approved by the FDA for use in pets [10], veterinarians may prescribe Tylenol for dogs in specific cases, like pain management after a surgery. However, never give it to your dog unless prescribed as even the slightest overdose may turn dangerous [5, 6, 7].

Quick Information

Tylenol

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Generic Name

Acetaminophen/Paracetamol

Brand Name

Tylenol

Type

Analgesic antipyretic

FDA Approved

Not for use in pets  [10]

Who can take it

Humans, dogs

Availability

Prescription/ OTC

Available forms

Oral liquid (syrup), Tablets

How does it work

Acetaminophen works by blocking the chemicals responsible for transmitting pain signals and inducing fever. However, unlike similar medications like aspirin and ibuprofen, it does not have any anti-inflammatory properties, thus is not used for conditions like arthritis [4].

Dosage for Dogs: How much Tylenol can you give

Veterinarians may prescribe low doses of Children’s or Infant’s Tylenol for dogs, usually ranging from 5 to 7.5 mg/lb (10-15 mg/kg) given up to thrice daily [11]. In case the duration of administration lasts for more than 5 days, vets generally prescribe two doses in a day [11].

The dosage may vary depending on your dog’s size, weight, age, as well as overall health and medical history.  Another determining factor is whether it is being prescribed for pain management or fever. Make sure to follow the vet’s instructions thoroughly. The medication should start working shortly after the first dose.

What to do in case of a missed dose

In case you ever miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember, unless it is already time for the next one. In that case, skip the dose that you missed and carry on with the scheduled one. Never give two doses at once.

Are there any side effects in dogs

There are usually no side effects as long as you follow the dosage directions. However, if you notice any of the following signs, even in their mildest form, make sure to inform the vet.

What happens if a dog takes more than the prescribed amount

In case of an overdose, the following signs of toxicity may occur [3]:

  • Face and paw swelling
  • Blue or brown gums
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Labored breathing
  • Drop in body temperature
  • Black tarry stool
  • Jaundice [3, 9] (yellowish discoloration of skin, gums, and orange stools [12]; might indicate liver damage)

Immediately contact your vet or call the Animal Poison Control Center Helpline (1-888-426-4435) as an accidental overdose can turn life-threatening soon, leading to shock, unconsciousness and even a coma [3, 5].

References

    1. Tylenol – Webmd.com
    2. Tylenol – Drugs.com
    3. Acetaminophen Toxicity in Cats and Dogs – Vetstreet.com
    4. Acetaminophen – Chemistryexplained.com
    5. Tylenol Poisoning in Dogs – Petmd.com
    6. What Kind of Pain Medicine Can I Give My Dog – Talklocal.com
    7. Can I Give My Dog Tylenol – Canigivemydog.com
    8. Tylenol – Petmd.com
    9. Acetaminophen – Petpoisonhelpline.com
    10. Get the Facts about Pain Relievers for Pets – FDA.gov
    11. Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for Dogs – Petplace.com
    12. Yellow Skin (Jaundice) in Dogs – Petmd.com

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