Veterinary Prescriber has published a critical evidence-based peer-reviewed appraisal of the use of paracetamol in dogs.

Paracetamol is one of the most commonly-used drugs worldwide, available to buy over the counter for humans, and for dogs (as Pardale-V tablets, which contain paracetamol together with codeine).

Andrea Tarr, Veterinary Prescriber’s founder and director said: "Pardale-V was licensed as an over-the counter medicine for dogs in 1993, and while it might have seemed appropriate then, it doesn’t really make sense now. The prescribing information doesn’t concur with the evidence and this creates a dilemma for vets who want to prescribe paracetamol for pain relief in dogs."

She added: "There is a lot of confusion about the efficacy and safety of paracetamol in dogs. For example, is it a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug? Is it safe to use with NSAIDs in dogs as it is in people?"

Veterinary Prescriber's paracetamol review was conducted in collaboration with Gwen Covey-Crump, RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia, EBVS European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, President, Comparative Medicine Network, Royal Society of Medicine.

The draft, produced after a thorough search of the published literature, was circulated unsigned to a wide range of commentators, including topic specialists and practising first-opinion vets who raise points about the interpretation of evidence, ask questions that are important to clinical practice, and present alternative viewpoints. 

Veterinary Prescriber says there is a rigorous editing and checking process and the result is a module that is evidence-based, impartial and relevant to clinical practice. 

Just the sort of information you need, in fact, to become a fully qualified paracetomologist.

Veterinary Prescriber modules are available by subscription: £9.95 per month for individuals (cancel anytime); £25 per month for practice subscriptions (for a 12-month contract). Practice subscribers also get 12 month's free access to for their vet nurses, vet receptionists and SQPs.

PS: Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vets.