Please do not start any animal on any medication without first checking with a veterinarian. Different species have dramatically different metabolisms, making medication that is generally considered safe in one species potentially fatal in another. This is among the reasons that MDs do not practice veterinary medicine.
The most common examples of problems involve pain medication. Caring owners attempting to treat a pet for arthritis or some minor injury, by giving an over the counter human pain medication, not realizing the potential dangers.
Even with medications approved for use in pets, the dose can vary astonishingly between species. The pain medication firocoxib is used to treat arthritis in both dogs and horses; in fact the dose used to treat a 50 pound dog is the same dose used to treat a 1000 pound horse. Trying to “scale up” the dog dose for a horse can cause gastric ulcers, kidney failure, even death.
Please understand that veterinarians recommend using only medications licensed for use in pets because we care about your pets. It is often true that these medications are more expensive than over the counter human medications; but the difference in cost to treat appropriately is nowhere near the cost to treat your pet for liver or kidney failure, or the emotional cost of losing your beloved pet.
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