The Dangers of Over the Counter Pain Medications and Pets -
Lilly is a golden retriever who developed a bad limp in her left back leg a few months ago. Lilly’s owners chose to try medicating her on their own with an over the counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory pain medication approved for people. After receiving the medication daily for a few days she began to lose her appetite and started vomiting. Lilly made it to our office – still limping badly – and blood work showed that she was in severe kidney failure and most likely had equally severe stomach ulcers. Sadly for both Lilly and her owners, this was a result of having been given OTC medication. Her owners had tried to do something to make her feel better, but now she was in a life threatening situation from which she might not recover. Additionally Lilly’s limping was found to be caused by a torn knee ligament, an injury which can require major surgery to fix.
After an expensive hospital stay that lasted almost a week with treatment including intensive fluid support for the kidneys and medications to try to fix the damage that had been done Lilly’s kidney function began to improve and she began to regain her appetite. Lilly was able to go home, but had to continue fluid administration and medication at home for over a month before her kidney blood levels returned to normal. During this time she was only able to take a less effective pain medication for her knee pain. The cost of fixing the damage to her kidneys also left her owners unable to afford surgery to repair her knee ligament. Fortunately the story has a happy ending as her kidneys now function normally and she is able to walk well with the aid of a knee brace.