Paracetamol is poisonous to cats and dogs

During this pandemic, it is difficult for owners to bring their pets to the clinic.  This is specially true for pet owners with no vehicles as public transportation is scarce, and most drivers will not allow pets inside their vehicles.

Due to this limitation, some owners have resorted to “self-medicating” their cat or dog. But prescribing medicine for your pet can bring more trouble. It is always best to consult  a vet. You can go to the clinic, or consult your vet on the phone or in messenger or through viber instead of prescribing medicine to your pet.

Please  do not give medicine you think will cure your pet without consulting a vet. Most medicine for humans are harmful to cats and dogs and should be kept away from your pet. Paracetamol is one such medicine that you should never give to your pet.

Paracetemol is dangerous for dogs, and can be fatal to pups since their body weight is much less than humans. Do not give paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Naproxen, Aspirin and medicine with paracetamol.
Cats and paracetamol

Paracetamol is not good for cats in pain. The medicine can worsen her condition.

“We’ve all been there, your cat comes in having had a scrape and you think ‘ouch, where are the painkillers?’ However, don’t ever be tempted to give your cat paracetamol as it will do a lot more harm than good,” said Vetsnow in

If your cat has eaten paracetamol,  call your vet immediately or bring your cat to the  clinic because “no dose is too small,” said Vetsnow.

“There is an antidote called acetylcysteine, which may save your cat’s life if it is given to them early enough. Taking quick action is paramount to your cat’s health,” Vetsnow said.

Paracetamol is harmful to cats because they can not break down paracetamol safely. This leads to the rapid formation of dangerous toxic compounds in the body ,Vetsnow said. This, in turn, causes irreversible damage to the red blood vessels and leads to a syndrome called ‘methaemaglobinaemia’ where the tongue and gums turn chocolate brown. This, and liver damage, causes death.

To avoid cat paracetamol poisoning, Vetsnow suggests cat owners do the following:  

1. Make sure all human medicine are out of reach of cats. Some human medicine also contains paracetamol.

“Just like with children, make sure all medication is locked away in cabinets out of reach of wandering paws,” Vetsnow said.

“Medicines that contain paracetamol include some cold and flu remedies, liquid medication such as Calpol. Paracetamol even has a different name in America, where it is called Acetaminophen, “ Vetsnow added.

2.  Do not “self-medicate” your cat.  Bring your cat to the vet.

“Cats are (obviously) very different to people

and it is simply not safe to give your cat paracetamol or any other human medicines. There are lots of safe cat painkillers that have been developed specifically for felines and these are available from your vet,” Vetsnow said.

“If you’re worried about cat pain or any aspect of your cat’s health, please contact your vet in the first instance,” Vetsnow added.

Dogs and paracetamol

Paracetamol is bad for dogs too, according to Vetsnow. It can cause liver or kidney failure and even death in dogs, said Vetsnow.

Vetsnow listed the potentially dangerous painkillers for dogs below:






“When your pet is unwell or has a painful injury, you may be tempted to give them human painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin, codeine and ibuprofen. Please do not do this — human painkillers can be poisonous to pets. Some over-the-counter medications can cause stomach ulceration, kidney or liver failure and even death in small animals,” Vetsnow said.

Calpol can be dangerous for dogs

It is best not to give Calpol to your dog.

Vetsnow said that “Infant suspensions, such as Calpol, contain paracetamol. While paracetamol is occasionally used in dogs, it was formulated for humans so (it)can be dangerous. This is particularly the case if taken in large doses. There are other drugs used by vets that have similar effects to paracetamol and are not as damaging to the liver.”

So ask your vet for another pain killer for your dog with no paracetamol in it.

“Like humans, dogs naturally produce substances that protect their internal organs. One of those substances is called prostaglandins. These prostaglandins help maintain blood flow to a dog’s kidneys, prevent clotting, and protect the inner lining of the stomach. One of the effects of human painkillers on dogs is they can hinder prostaglandin production. When this happens dogs can develop intestinal problems, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea, bleeding disorders and even kidney or liver failure,” Vetsnow stressed.

If your dog has eaten a human painkiller, bring him to the vet immediately. Try to provide the vet the following information: name of medicine, strength, and amount ingested.

Park for dogs

Owners can now bring their pets inside SM Dasma mall and bond with their furbabies in a different location other than their home. (Photo by Dennis Abrina)
Owners now have another way to bond with their dogs or cats.

SM Dasma launched last Sunday, March 14, the Paw Park for pets to allow owners to bring their cats or dogs to the mall.

The Paw Park is located at the third floor of the mall. Owners must put a leash and diaper on their pets. It is also urged that dogs in heat are not brought to the park.

Topics: paracetamol , cats , dogs
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.