Online Vet Reviews Spring Cleaning Tips to keep your pets safe

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Though the mercury isn’t yet rising in our part of the world, spring time is here, and for many of us, a thorough spring cleaning is in order.

As you clean out your medicine cabinets and drawers, please remember that many pets often find pills tasty little treats (dogs) or toys to bat around on the floor and then ingest (cats).

One of the most common types of accidental ingestions that we see as VetLIVE veterinarians is pets that have gotten into medications. While many human drugs can be safely prescribed for dogs or cats, overdoses can be dangerous or deadly.

So which drugs are the common ones that pets get into? Listed below are some of the most common drugs pet owners report to us that their pets got into.

1. Aspirin. Did you know that giving a puppy even one baby aspirin can be fatal? Toxic quantities of aspirin can adversely affect all organs of your pet, including impaired blood clotting, vomiting and diarrhea, acute kidney failure, and even seizures.

2. Ibuprofen (or many similar drugs such as Aleve). For dogs, ibuprofen can easily exceed toxic levels. The most common cause of ibuprofen toxicity is a well-meaning owner who tries to alleviate pain in their dog by giving a dose he thinks is adequate or reasonable without knowing the toxic dose. The initial toxic effect is bleeding stomach ulcers. In addition to ulcers, increasing doses of ibuprofen eventually lead to kidney failure and, if left untreated, can be fatal.

3. Amphetamines. Amphetamines are nervous system stimulants, and within 1-2 hours, your pet may show signs of restlessness, hyperactivity, agitation, seizures, or even death.

online vet reviews, accidental pet ingestions4. Tylenol and/or tylenol containing drugs. Acetominophen is a commonly used medication for fever and pain in pregnant women and even young children, so many well-intentioned owners mistakenly assume it is safe for pets as well. While acetominophen is toxic to be dogs and cats, cats are much more sensitive to it. Just one 250 mg tablet can kill a cat.

5. Another pet’s medication. This is a question we get frequently. The pet owner knows it’s safe for one dog (or cat) but the other pet (invariably it is always the smaller one) decides to break into the medicine bottle for his or her turn. Pets, dogs especially, vary greatly in weight and there is no one size fits all dose. If this does happen, make sure to ask a vet immediately. Taking action sooner rather than later is always key.

Remember, most pill bottles are not dog proof, and many cats and dogs work together to have the cat knock the pill bottle off a counter top so the dog can start chewing through the bottle. Make sure to keep all bottles secure and away from pets even while you are cleaning. If you can’t monitor closely, consider crating during your cleaning time or having someone take your pet for a walk or activity elsewhere.

If your pet accidentally ingests something you are unsure of it’s safety, our veterinarians are staffed 24/7 for you to connect with immediately. As always, we are unbiased, and you can ask a vet from the comfort of your own home and find out if a vet visit is warranted.

Has your pet ever accidentally eaten a pill that wasn’t his or hers?  If so, what was it?

Dr. Laci


Dr. Laci Nash Schaible, DVM

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April 7, 2011 at 03:15

We are very careful about where we put anything.

That said, Jasmine won’t eat even the pills she needs to, so the risk with her is less than zero :-) J.D. on the other hand doesn’t care what he eats, as long as it fits in his mouth.

It’s always good where things leave one’s hand.

May 12, 2012 at 04:21

You could definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

July 27, 2012 at 12:06

Did they run bloodwork on her brofee the surgery? Are her kidneys really failing or is she just very dehydrated? They can go into kidney failure from their blood pressure dropping too low while anesthetized. It is very important to check with your vet that all surgical patients have an IV catheter, IV fluids, are intubated, kept warm during surgery, and that vitals such as blood pressure, heartrate, and O2 levels are monitored throughout the procedure. Pain medication brofee and after surgery is a MUST. This is NOT common if these simple yet vital protocols are in place I would question how the procedure was performed.

October 17, 2013 at 15:09

Ask a vet | Online Vet Reviews Spring Cleaning Tips for Pets | VetLIVE…

Dude. Thank you for sharing!…