NSAIDS

NSAIDS

NSAIDS

NSAIDS

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used in humans and companion animals for the management of inflammation, pain and fever. Many NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen and mefenamic acid are available over the counter in various forms such as tablets, capsules, oral liquids and topical gels. As of the 1st of February, celecoxib (a commonly used NSAID) is now also available over the counter from pharmacies in Australia. With these recent regulatory changes, the Animal Poisons Helpline anticipates an increase in the number of cases of pets accidentally ingesting celecoxib.

Companion animals are highly sensitive to ‘human’ NSAIDs, with the ingestion of even a single capsule of celecoxib potentially associated with poisoning. Ingestion can result in gastrointestinal effects such as inappetence, vomiting, diarrhoea and gastrointestinal ulceration. Depending on the dose ingested, the weight of the animal and the species involved (cats being more sensitive than dogs), animals that ingest celecoxib or other NSAIDs may also be at risk of kidney injury and neurological effects. Left untreated, these ingestions can potentially be life-threatening.

Pets can easily be exposed to toxic doses of these medications by either directly chewing into packets or by being inadvertently overdosed by their owners. Celecoxib, along with many other “human” NSAIDs, are not approved for use in companion animals and should never be given to pets unless specifically advised to do so by a veterinarian.

The Animal Poisons Helpline provides free advice to pet owners in Australia and New Zealand and can be reached on ☎️1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ). If you don’t already follow the Animal Poisons Helpline Facebook Page, follow now to receive live animal poisons alerts and updates. If you are a member of a veterinary team in Australia or New Zealand, you can join the Animal Poisons Centre For Vets Facebook group which is regularly updated with toxicology tidbits and poisoning trends. We thank the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for supporting this post.