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Benefits of Canine Buffered Aspirin for Mild Arthritis


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Buffered Aspirin & Mild Arthritis

Many dog owners rely on buffered aspirin for temporary relief of pain and swelling from overused muscles, injury and surgery, as well as minor arthritis and joint disease. Aspirin is an over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), that also offers pain relief and fever reduction. This versatile drug can help make your dog more comfortable.

Aspirin has been used for centuries. Its main compound is acetylsalicylic acid, which comes from salicylic acid, found in the myrtle bush, the willow tree, and in birch bark.

This medicine is thought to work by inhibiting the production of the “COX” enzymes. COX-1 enzymes help maintain the mucosal lining of the stomach while the COX-2 enzymes lead to inflammation and pain. The trick is to attack the COX-2 enzymes without attacking the COX-1 enzymes. This is accomplished by buffering the aspirin to reduce its affect on the stomach as it passes through. Enteric-coated aspirin are not as effective as the buffered type, since the dog’s digestive tract cannot break down the coating, so the aspirin moves unchanged through the dog’s digestive tract.

Always give aspirin at mealtime to reduce the chance of stomach irritation, follow the dosage on the canine aspirin bottle, and monitor your dog for stomach upset or ulcers. Symptoms of ulcers can include lack of appetite, vomiting, and bloody or black stool.

Do not use aspirin with other NSAIDS such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx, or Previcox. It may be used with other joint care products such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and perna mussel. Aspirin is an inexpensive, effective solution for your dog’s pain. Make sure you consult your veterinarian before starting your dog on aspirin.

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