Yesterday I came home from work to find four happy dogs... and a bottle of ibuprofen in the middle of my living room, with the pills clearly chewed on and scattered about. I knew that ibuprofen is dangerous for dogs, so I called the vet. Because I didn't know who had chewed on the ibuprofen, nor how much may have been swallowed, they advised that I rush all four to the emergency clinic. That's where I learned how dangerous ibuprofen is.
Ibuprofen does all kinds of bad things to dogs, including ulcers, kidney failure, and neurological problems. Worse, it doesn't take much to cause these problems. GI problems, like ulcers, can happen at a dose as small as 25mg per kilogram. For my three little dogs, who each weigh around 15 pounds or 7kg, give or take, that means that as little as 175mg - or less than one tablet of ibuprofen - can cause serious problems. Kidney failure is likely at about 175mg per kilogram, or for my dogs, about six tablets.
By the time we got there, Pyg was throwing up, was lethargic, and was swaying on his feet. Not good. They took him back first and made him throw up. After consultation, we agreed that all four may have eaten some ibuprofen, and so the best course of action was to take the other three back.
That's when I learned that recovery from ibuprofen ingestion is a lengthy procedure. First, everyone has to throw up. Then, they need to eat activated charcoal, which helps neutralize anything that's been absorbed. (Pyg got bonus lipids to help even more since he was so sick and problem ate the most.) Next, they need to have GI protectants (to prevent ulcers or tears in the stomach). Finally, they need at least 48 hours of IV fluids to flush out the system. Regular blood work and UAs are taken to assess if any kidney damage has happened. Hopefully the throwing up and charcoal and fluids prevents that.
We're about 24 hours in right now. Everybody is doing well, even Pyg. He's clearly tired, but he's not dull and lethargic. When I visited, he just wanted to lean on me. I'm waiting for their second set of labs to come back, which will tell us if there's any kidney problems brewing. We don't anticipate this happening with any of them since we got treatment so fast, but I'll update when they're home - hopefully tomorrow, but maybe Monday.
In the meantime- everyone should know that if your dog eats ibuprofen, it is an immediate emergency.