Dangers of Human Medications in Pets

drroyalEven though we like to think of pets as members of our families, we really have to remember that they are a different species, with different ability to metabolize chemicals.   Many mediations that are safe for us are not safe for them.  I have seen that over and over in my work in zoos and with wildlife.

We have to be super careful about using medication from species to species.  If we haven’t got certain information that a drug is safe in a species, we are very unlikely to use that medication without a good deal of study.

If you drop a medication PICK IT UP — make sure your pet can’t get to it.  Keep mediations safe from pets, well labeled, so if a pet ingests any, you know what it was and how many…

Use safer alternatives to chemical medications where possible –

Acupuncture, laser, & chiropractic therapies, massage, physical veterinary rehab therapy (UWT)herbal and homeopathic medications and topicals all are very helpful in managing pain.

FDA consumer update 11/13. RE Dangers of human Meds in pets Vet NSAIDS:

  • Metacam (meloxicam)
  • Rimadyl (carprofen)
  • Novox (generic carprofen)
  • Previcox (firocoxib)
  • Zubrin (tepoxalin)
  • Etogesic (etodolac)
  • Deramaxx (deracoxib)
  • Aspirin (Salacetic acid)

The most common side effects from NSAIDs include:

  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • depression
  • lethargy
  • diarrhea

Serious side effects include:

  • gastrointestinal bleeding
  • ulcers
  • perforations
  • kidney damage
  • liver problems

Check with vet or poison control first before making dogs vomit.  (cats need to get to a vet)

Fresh Hydrogen peroxide (3%) and use it to make them vomit.     (NOT syrup of ipecac, salt or mustard)

  • About 1 to 2 teaspoon (5-10ml) per every 10 lbs, or 1-2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) per 30# dog (oral syringe into dog). Max dose is 45 ml (about a ¼ cup) at one time regardless of weight.
  • Let them walk around.  Repeat in 15 min if no Vomiting.  Go to vet if no vomiting after 2 x trying.

Human approved meds:

Aspirin (AcetylSalicylic acid),  Careful in dogs – GI ulceration.  Cats- lack glucuronide conjugates that help excrete the aspirin- can be toxic unless given only tiny doses once every 3-4 days.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Dogs – can be used, if low dose and monitored but liver damage if given too much – even 2 tablets can be toxic to some dogs.  Never use in cats – toxic – affects oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.

Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) Should never be used in dogs or cats.  Severe gastric ulcers or acute kidney failure in even small doses.

Naproxin, Aleve, Anaprox – Never use in dogs or cats.  Very potent, can be toxic in small doses to dogs and cats.  Causes stomach ulceration, perforation and kidney failure.

Tramadol (Ultram) pain reliever-  is used in humans and animals, but we tend to be very cavalier about dosing.  It can cause disorientation, wobbliness and even vomiting, tremors and seizures.

Drugs like Alprazolam (Xanax) or Zolpidem (Ambien) which people use for anxiety or as a sleep aid can have the opposite effect on pets and cause severe agitation or heart rate increases.

Clonaepam (Klonopin) can cause blood pressure to drop – weakness/collapse.

Venlafaxine (Effexor) used as antidrpressant – in cats (who love to eat these capsules for unknown reason) Agitation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

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