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Toxic Medications for Your Pet


Topics | Health
Posted | March 17, 2019

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pet poisoning by human drugs is the most common type of poison exposure. Unfortunately, well-meaning pet owners often give their pets human medications. While some medications can be used to treat cats and dogs, some are toxic and the dose is critical. Before giving human medications to your pet, be sure to consult with a veterinarian as many common medications can be fatal to your pet.

Here is a list of common human medications that can be dangerous to your pets:

NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug)/Pain Medications.
NSAIDS are readily available over the counter medications used to treat pain. This includes Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) which cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure.

Another common pain medication, Acetaminophen (Tylenol), can cause liver failure and red blood cell damage, especially to cats.

There are dog and cat friendly NSAIDS that can be prescribed by your veterinarian.

Antidepressants, Antianxiety, Sleep Aid Medications.
Though veterinarians may occasionally prescribe a select few medications for pets, the majority of these medications are dangerous. Because of their prevalence, accidental ingestion is common. Antidepressants such as Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and Venlafaxine (Effexor), antianxiety medications such as Alprazolam (Xanax) and Clonazapem (Klonopin), and sleep aids such as Zolpidem (Ambien) typically cause pets to be severely sedated, develop neurologic problems such as tremors or seizures, or become very agitated with severely elevated heart rates. One pill is often enough to cause severe problems and even death.

ADD/ADHD medications.
Medications such as Concerta, Adderall, Ritalin contain amphetamine which can lead to life-threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperature, and cardiac and respiratory arrest.

Heart/Blood pressure medications.
Beta-blockers such as Atenolol (Tenormin), Metoprolol succinate (Toprol), Carvedilol (Coreg) can cause life-threatening decreases in blood pressure and a very slow heart rate. Less severe problems can occur from pets ingesting ACE Inhibitors such as Lisinopril (Zestril) and Ramipril (Altace).

Accidental ingestion of medications is common, since our pets are curious and medications can look very similar to food and treats. It's important to ensure medications are kept out of reach of pets to avoid accidental ingestion. Here are a few tips to keep your pet safe:
- Store mediations, pill vials, and weekly pill containers in a secure cabinet out of the reach of pets (and children).
- Do not store medication on your nightstand, which can be easily accessed by your pets.
- Be careful with medications in purses or brief cases. Ensure they are stored out of reach of your pet.
- Never store medications in plastic, resealable bags.
- Pick up any dropped medications immediately.
- Do not store pet medications in the same place as human medications.
- Contact a veterinarian prior to giving any human medications to your pet.
In the event your pet ingests a medication, call your veterinarian immediately or ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4436.


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Toxic Medications for Your Pet


Topics | Health
Posted | March 17, 2019



According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pet poisoning by human drugs is the most common type of poison exposure. Unfortunately, well-meaning pet owners often give their pets human medications. While some medications can be used to treat cats and dogs, some are toxic and the dose is critical. Before giving human medications to your pet, be sure to consult with a veterinarian as many common medications can be fatal to your pet.

Here is a list of common human medications that can be dangerous to your pets:

NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug)/Pain Medications.
NSAIDS are readily available over the counter medications used to treat pain. This includes Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) which cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure.

Another common pain medication, Acetaminophen (Tylenol), can cause liver failure and red blood cell damage, especially to cats.

There are dog and cat friendly NSAIDS that can be prescribed by your veterinarian.

Antidepressants, Antianxiety, Sleep Aid Medications.
Though veterinarians may occasionally prescribe a select few medications for pets, the majority of these medications are dangerous. Because of their prevalence, accidental ingestion is common. Antidepressants such as Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and Venlafaxine (Effexor), antianxiety medications such as Alprazolam (Xanax) and Clonazapem (Klonopin), and sleep aids such as Zolpidem (Ambien) typically cause pets to be severely sedated, develop neurologic problems such as tremors or seizures, or become very agitated with severely elevated heart rates. One pill is often enough to cause severe problems and even death.

ADD/ADHD medications.
Medications such as Concerta, Adderall, Ritalin contain amphetamine which can lead to life-threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperature, and cardiac and respiratory arrest.

Heart/Blood pressure medications.
Beta-blockers such as Atenolol (Tenormin), Metoprolol succinate (Toprol), Carvedilol (Coreg) can cause life-threatening decreases in blood pressure and a very slow heart rate. Less severe problems can occur from pets ingesting ACE Inhibitors such as Lisinopril (Zestril) and Ramipril (Altace).

Accidental ingestion of medications is common, since our pets are curious and medications can look very similar to food and treats. It's important to ensure medications are kept out of reach of pets to avoid accidental ingestion. Here are a few tips to keep your pet safe:
- Store mediations, pill vials, and weekly pill containers in a secure cabinet out of the reach of pets (and children).
- Do not store medication on your nightstand, which can be easily accessed by your pets.
- Be careful with medications in purses or brief cases. Ensure they are stored out of reach of your pet.
- Never store medications in plastic, resealable bags.
- Pick up any dropped medications immediately.
- Do not store pet medications in the same place as human medications.
- Contact a veterinarian prior to giving any human medications to your pet.
In the event your pet ingests a medication, call your veterinarian immediately or ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4436.


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