Dog ate naproxen tablet (Aleve)
Pugs will eat anything–especially Hagrid! His mom is aware of his vacuum-like ability to slurp up anything on the floor that’s even remotely interesting (especially if it’s “off-limits”). So when she accidentally dropped an Aleve (naproxen) tablet on the floor, and Hagrid snatched it up, she wisely knew she had a problem.
Naproxen tablets are a commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) used for pain relief in humans, but dogs do not tolerate it very well, and it will cause stomach ulcers and GI bleeding in most dogs. How much ulceration and bleeding occurs depends on the dose. For a dog Hagrid’s size, ingestion of one 220-mg tablet can cause serious problems.
Luckily, Hagrid’s mom called as soon as this happened, so we instructed her to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide first. He did vomit some of the blue tablet, but it’s hard to know if it was all of it. So she brought him to Olathe Animal Hospital, we administered activated charcoal–or should we say, he gobbled it up! Silly pug! (One has to believe that stuff tastes awful!) Activated charcoal coats his GI tract and helps prevent absorption of the naproxen.
A few days after this incident, blood work was performed to check Hagrid’s liver and kidney values, and it all checked out fine. Hagrid has made a full recovery and is doing great. Unfortunately, he hasn’t learned his lesson, so his mom has to continue to be very careful about not leaving anything on the floor.
If you have an equally naughty dog who will eat anything and everything, we understand that this can be very frustrating. Even the most vigilant owners can’t prevent their dogs from eating potentially dangerous items. The best approach is to prevent access to ingestible items (i.e. keep everything clean and picked up, keep doors to bedrooms closed, keep trash in a cabinet or other inaccessible area). Make sure everyone in the family understands this and helps out. In extreme cases of pica (eating anything and everything non-food related), use of a basket muzzle can help prevent ingestion of potentially dangerous items.
If you think your dog has ingested naproxen, please contact your veterinarian to discuss treatment. The information contained in this article is not a substitution for direct veterinary care.