Emma Duncan, Times author, nearly lost her puppy to Ibuprofen poisoning

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Emma Duncan

People enquire whether Ibuprofen can poison dogs. It doesn’t take long to research that it does indeed poison dogs. In fact, it is a drug which is regarded as highly toxic to dogs.

Judging by the story in The Times newspaper of today November 20, 2020, written by Emma Duncan, it also seems quite easy for a dog owner to inadvertently allow their dogs to munch through a packet of Ibuprofen.

Emma Duncan

Emma Duncan. The Times newspaper journalist and Britain Editor, The Economist. Photo: In public domain (believed).

In Duncan’s story, she admits to having inadvertently thrown away a packet of the painkillers into the wastebin. She thought that the packet was empty or there was one pill left. But she was wrong because Basil had been sick and he threw up his breakfast as well. He then shivered and whimpered. Duncan decided to take him to a veterinarian as quickly as possible after realising that he had been rooting through an upturned wastepaper bin.

She says that she “retrieved a particular image from the previous morning”. In other words she visualised her puppy rummaging through the wastebin and put two and two together. She was right in that her dog had been poisoned which can be fatal because it damages the kidneys and gut of dogs. He was put on a drip to flush the poisons out of his body and given pills. Duncan is not sure what he was given but there is no cure for guilt and grief.

I sense that Duncan feels incredibly guilty about what she perceives as her carelessness. She perhaps discovered the depth of her feelings as she envisaged the passing of her precious puppy. She says that geneticists have discovered that dogs have a genetic mutation which makes them excessively friendly and trusting rather like a condition called Williams-Beuren syndrome in people. This creates a very friendly dog and friendliness has been described as “survival of the friendliest” as opposed to “survival of the fittest” in classic Darwinian terminology.

Duncan is particular thankful that she has Basil during these difficult times of lockdown. Like many dog owners she has benefited tremendously from the companionship of a loving dog. This is why there’s been a surge in adoptions of cute toy dog breed puppies sometime from unscrupulous breeders who have cashed in on this new found desire to live with a dog.

P.S. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is very common and is sold under the names Advil, Motrin, Nurofen (and others) as well.