are many things that are dangerous to our pets, from food to plants, cleaners
and household supplies and, of course, people medicines. There are some
human medicines that work great for pets, given the proper dosage, but there
are others that can cause serious harm or even death. People have a tendency
to leave medicines around, especially if they don't have children to worry
about getting into them. Pets, however, are curious and can get into things,
too. For their protection and safety, always keep medicines and prescriptions
out of their reach. Child proof caps do not deter a dog who is determined
to chew his way into a bottle. Let's take a look at some of the most common
people medicines that are dangerous to our pets (based in information from
NSAIDS are non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofin or naproxen
(Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc.). These medicines are safe for people, but even
one or two pills can cause serious harm to a pet. Serious stomach and intestinal
ulcers may result, as well as kidney failure.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is very dangerous to pets. It is very safe for humans,
even children, but this is not the case for pets....especially cats. Just
one regular strength tablet can damage a cat's red blood cells. In dogs,
ingesting acetaminophen leads to liver failure. Larger doses will damage
their red blood cells.
Antidepressants (Effexor, Cymbalta, Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc.) can cause
vomiting and lethargy. Other reactions include lack of coordination, dangerously
elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, increased body temperature, disorientation,
tremors, seizures, or agitation. Just one pill can cause serious poisoning.
Some antidepressants are used by vets, but only certain ones in controlled
medications: These medications (Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta) contain potent
stimulants (amphetamines and methylphenodate) which can be deadly for pets.
These drugs can dangerously elevate their heart rate, blood pressure, and
body temperature. Even minimal ingestion of these drugs can be life-threatening.
Other symptoms include tremors and seizures.
drugs/sleep aids: These drugs include Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien and Lunesta.
In humans these drugs are used to reduce anxiety and promote sleep. In pets,
however, they may have the opposite effect. About half the dogs that ingest
sleep aids become agitated rather than sedated. Other symptoms may include
severe lethargy, loss of coordination (appearing to be drunk), and slowed
breathing. In cats, some forms of these drugs can cause liver failure.
Fluorouacil is an anti-cancer drug used to topically treat minor skin cancers
and some other conditions. It has been shown to be rapidly fatal in dogs.
Symptoms include severe vomiting, seizures, and cardiac arrest. Even very
small amounts, such as traces left on discarded cotton swabs that were used
to apply the medication, can cause death when ingested.
Pseudophedrine is a popular decongestant found in most sinus and cold medicines.
If accidentally ingested by pets it can act like s stimulant. Symptoms include
elevated heart rate, raised blood pressure and body temperature, and seizures.
Drugs used to treat diabetes (Metformin, insulin, glipizide, glyburide)
can cause a major drop in blood sugar levels. Signs of ingestion include
disorientation, lack of coordination, and seizures.
Baclofen is a muscle relaxer that can impair the central nervous system
in pets. Symptoms of ingestion can include disorientation, vocalization,
severe depression, seizures, coma, or even death.
D: Vitamin D derivatives (calcitriol, calcipotriene) can cause life-threatening
spikes in blood calcium levels in pets. Symptoms, which include vomiting,
loss of apetite, increased urination, and thirst due to kidney failure,
may not manifest themselves until more than 24 hours after ingestion.
These medicines (Tenormin, Toprol, Coreg) are used to treat high blood pressure.
Even small ingestions can cause serious poisoning in pets. Symptoms include
a life- threatening drop in blood pressure and very slow heart rate. [snip]