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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16894
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 55 lb 11yr old pit ate a 220 leave gelcap tuesday I just

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my 55 lb 11yr old pit ate a 220 leave gelcap tuesday I just found out it is toxic she had absolutely no systems except she there up on Thursday but friday morning she was gone I am beside myself I loved her Maria
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: 11 yr old , 55 lb Staffordshire terrier
JA: OK. Did you see what the Staffordshire terrier ate?
Customer: a 220 aleve gelcap
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the Staffordshire terrier?
Customer: she has arthritis in hind legs, now the last couple of months she has been extremely lazy, sleeping all the time , not interested, she had her days when she would not eat.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She did not have any of the symptoms listed, except she ate very little she did not have any signs of diarrhea she only threw up one the night before she passed....Maria

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thats fine

Maria, my deepest condolences on your loss.

While I do believe the Aleve tablet that she ingested played a part in her passing, it was probably not the only factor given her lethargy/laziness and refusal to eat on and off the last few months of her life.

Aleve contains naporoxen, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory that we do not use in dogs due to the high incidence of side effects including gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers (sometimes perforating) and kidney damage even when given appropriate doses.

The naproxen dose listed in Plumb's Veterinary Drug handbook is 2mg per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight every 48 hours.

In a dog her size (55 pounds/2.2 lbs per kg = 25kg) a usual dose would be 50mg, so the dose she ingested was roughly 4 to 4 & 1/2 times a normal dose if she was given one 220mg tablet.

A single (meaning given all at once) toxic dose of Aleve in dogs is 35mg/kg, or 875mg or roughly 4 tablets of the 220mg size for a 55 pound dog.

Peak blood levels are within 3 hours of ingestion so these levels should have occurred the first night, but could have been as much as a day later in a dog with already compromised kidney or liver function and would have explained her vomiting a couple days after that first dose.

Toxic side effects are abdominal pain, vomiting, gastrointestinal ulcers which can perforate, dark tarry stools, weakness, anemia, and kidney damage shown by increased kidney waste product levels (BUN and creatinine) on blood testing.

Unfortunately the half life (the amount of drug metabolized and decreased by half) in dogs is very long, 72 hours, and as such the effects of the drug linger.

In her case with her history of lethargy & a poor appetite I suspect that she had old age changes to her kidneys and/or liver such that their function was not normal, and naproxen further pushed them into complete failure. Kidney failure predisposes to gastrointestinal irritation and ulcers forming. If we add a toxic dose of naproxen the ulcers could perforate leading to a rapid decline in health and death.

In short I suspect that the combination of aging organs and a very toxic drug led to a quick decompensation and death.

I understand how much you must miss her, and how heartbreaking this was for you, but I hope my explanation leads to an understanding and acceptance of what happened, and gives you some peace.

I think your girl wasn't well to begin with unfortunately.

Please let me know if I can explain any of this further.

I am sorry I cannot help with a phone call. The states/province I am licensed in do not allow me to communicate via phone calls, unless I have previously physically examined a pet. I could lose my license for doing so. If you would like you can reply and ask any follow-up questions and I will be happy to respond to them here.

Dr. Kara and 3 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you so much Dr Kara. You have helped me put this in perspective...Candy will be missed beyond belief for I have MS and Candy was not only my best friend but my companion. Sincerely, ***** *****

I feel for you, I'm so sorry to hear that not only was Candy your beloved companion but also a huge support in your struggle with MS. I believe that she is somewhere peaceful and pain free and waiting for you, dogs love so unconditionally I have to believe that their souls go to the best afterlife there can be. Take care and know that you are in my thoughts.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for everything Maria

You are very welcome, please take care of yourself, Dr. Kara.