Keeping your dog safe is a year round task. Pets may accidentally be poisoned by ingesting medications intended for humans. Nearly 50% of all calls received by Pet Poison Helpline involve human medication poisoning.
Most pet owners are aware of poisons lurking around the home but don’t realize the most toxic items could be sitting right in front of their dog’s nose, such as the nightstand.
Pet proofing your home should start with the medicine cabinet. Puppies and dogs can easily break the container with one good chomp. The plastic bottles are enticing to your dog.
If you have a counter surfer, put the medications in a drawer or somewhere less easily accessible to your dog.
If you have medicines in purses, backpacks or suitcases put them up where your dog cannot get into them.
Below is a list of human medications most frequently ingested by dogs:
- (Advil, Aleve, Motrin, and Tylenol) The number one most common household medication is NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These can cause serious problems, even in small doses. Dogs may experience stomach and intestinal ulcers. Watch for pales gums, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and loss of appetite.
2. ANTIDEPRESSANTS (Zoloft, Cymbalta, and Effexor) These can cause neurological problems, tremors, seizures, vomiting, and lethargy. Some antidepressants have a stimulate effect leading to an elevated heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
3. ADD/ADHD (Ritalin, Vyvanse, Adderal, and Concerta) These medications are used to treat attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. They contain potent stimulants that can cause life threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperatures and heart problems.
4. SLEEP AIDS (Klonopin, Ambien, Lunesta, and Xanax) These medications are made to help reduce anxiety. These drugs may cause extreme lethargy and slowed breathing or they can have the opposite effect causing your dog to become agitated.
5. MUSCLE RELAXANTS ( Flexeril, Baclofen,Soma, Zanaflex, Skelaxin) These will impair the central nervous system. Watch for depression, disorientation, weakness, seizures and coma, which can lead to death.
6. ANTI-CANCER MEDICATION (Fluorouracil) This medication is used to topically treat minor skin cancers and solar keratitis. It causes severe vomiting, seizures and cardiac arrest. This drug has been proven to be fatal to dogs. Don’t even let them chew on the swabs used to apply the medication.
7. TUBERCULOSIS MEDICATION (Isoniazid) Particularly toxic to dogs because they can’t metabolize it and will bring on severe seizures that may result in death.
8. PSEUDOEPHEDRINE A popular decongestant in many cold and sinus products. It will act as a stimulate elevating heart rate, body temperature as well as seizures.
9. ANTI-DIABETICS (Glipizid and Glyburide) These medications will cause a big drop in the blood sugar levels. Watch for disorientation and seizures.
10. VITAMIN D (Calcipotriene and Calcitriol) Even small amounts can cause life threatening spikes in blood calcium levels. Watch for vomiting, loss of appetite, and increased thirst and urination due to kidney failure.
By taking precautions you should be able to prevent any accidents from happening. Be prepared and know what to look for. If you suspect that your dog has ingested any toxic medications contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control 24-hour hotline at (888-426-4435). A matter of minutes could make a difference between life and death.