Pictured: Ibuprofen

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe, potentially life-threatening

Common signs to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloody vomitus
  • Diarrhea
  • Black-tarry stool
  • Weakness
  • Pale gums (sign of anemia)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased or decreased urination
  • Seizures
  • Death

Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), a class of drug that is commonly used for the relief of pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, headaches, menstrual cramps, and for the relief of mild fevers.  Though ibuprofen is used commonly by people, dogs and cats are very sensitive to this drug and its use is not recommended.  Dog-specific NSAIDs include common brands such as Rimadyl, Dermaxx, Previcox and Metacam. Currently, there are no NSAIDs designed for long-term use in cats. This class of drug is used sparingly in cats because it is poorly tolerated (it can result in severe kidney failure with overdose or repeated doses).

Pet owners should never give any medication to their dog or cat without consultation with their veterinarian. Some pet owners give NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, without realizing the dangers to their dog or cat. When pets ingest small doses of ibuprofen, it may result in severe stomach ulcers causing signs of vomiting, bloody vomitus, diarrhea, black-tarry stool, weakness, pale gums (a sign of anemia), abdominal pain, lethargy, and loss of appetite. With larger ingestions, kidney failure, liver failure and neurological problems (e.g., tremors, seizures) can develop.

If you think your dog or cat has ingested ibuprofen, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment advice.

Poison type: medications

Alternate names: Advil, Motrin, NSAIDs