What To Do If Your Canine Eats Human Medicine

Canines are curious animals that like to take part in every thing we do. In relation to drugs, these traits typically put them at risk.  Based on the Pet Poison Helpline, almost 50% of all pet poisonings contain human medicine, with ache relievers, antidepressants and coronary heart meds topping the record of frequent culprits. Are you aware what to do if your canine eats human medicine?

Whether or not or not a case of unintended medicine ingestion is a severe emergency relies on the kind and amount of the drug. In case your 80 pound canine snags a single Benadryl pill off the ground, he’s unlikely to even really feel drowsy, not to mention have any unwell results. Nonetheless, a number of over-the-counter (OTC) and pharmaceuticals are dangerous or lethal to canine, even in small quantities.

In case your canine eats human medicine or any doubtlessly dangerous substance, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline Instantly.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medicine (NSAIDs)

Practically each family has one kind of NSAID or one other. This class of drug comprises Ibuprofen – which comes below the model names Advil and Motrin – and Naproxen, which has the model title, Aleve. These drugs are used to cut back irritation and ache. Whereas they’re fairly secure for people, only one or two drugs may cause abdomen and intestinal ulcers and even kidney failure in canine.

Signs of Ibuprofen or Naproxen Poisoning embody:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloody vomit
  • Diarrhea
  • Black, tarry stool
  • Inappetance
  • Lethargy
  • Inappropriate urination or thirst
  • Stomach ache
  • Seizures

Whereas NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and Naproxen are dangerous, there are a number of drugs authorised for veterinary use to assist canine affected by ache and irritation.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin)

Acetaminophen is extensively identified by its common model names, Tylenol and Excedrin. It might even be present in over-the-counter drugs labeled for chilly, flu and allergy signs. Used as a secure, efficient ache reliever and fever reducer in people, Acetaminophen may cause liver failure and crimson blood cell injury in canine.

Signs of Acetaminophen Poisoning:

  • Lethargy
  • Swelling of the face and/or paws
  • Issue respiration
  • Brown or blue gums
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased urge for food
  • Jaundice

Antidepressants (Effexor, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lexapro)

When a canine eats human drugs that fall below the antidepressant class, there are a number of potential outcomes. A few of these drugs are secure in small portions, and could also be used to assist pups coping with nervousness or behavioral points. Others trigger medical signs starting from sedation and lethargy to over-stimulation and anorexia. In case your canine ingests a considerable amount of drug, a situation generally known as serotonin syndrome could also be seen.

Scientific indicators of serotonin syndrome embody:

  • Central Nervous System sedation or stimulation
  • Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
  • Tremoring
  • Seizures
  • Hyperthermia
  • Stomach ache
  • Dilated pupils

Benzodiazepines Sleep Aids (Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Lunesta)

These drugs are designed to assist people sleep and really feel much less anxious. Unusually sufficient, they’ve the other impact on about half of the canine who ingest them. Moderately than changing into calm and sedate, they act nervous and agitated. In different canine, these medicine work a bit too effectively, inflicting extreme lethargy, incoordination, and slowed respiration.

Signs of Benzodiazepine Poisoning:

  • Extreme sedation
  • Incoordination
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Respiratory melancholy
  • Cardiovascular melancholy

Blood Stress Medicine

There are two main kinds of blood stress medicine, ACE Inhibitors and Beta-blockers. ACE inhibitors are typically used to deal with hypertension in canine, and are usually fairly secure. In case your canine eats a small quantity of the sort of medicine it might trigger low blood stress, dizziness and weak spot, however shouldn’t be life-threatening. Nonetheless, it’s best to nonetheless contact your vet, as canine with kidney failure or coronary heart illness could also be extra severely affected.

Beta-blockers, however, may cause poisonous poisoning in canine. Even small quantities of those medicine can dangerously drop a canine’s blood stress, resulting in coronary heart and kidney failure.

Signs of Beta-Blocker Overdose:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weak spot
  • Collapse
  • Slowed coronary heart fee
  • Lethargy

Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)

Decongestants equivalent to pseudoephedrine work by constricting the blood vessels within the nostril to cut back post-nasal drip. These drugs may be very harmful to canine, inflicting signs equivalent to vomiting, dilated pupils, extreme blood stress modifications (hypertension), irregular coronary heart rhythms, tremors, and seizures.

Stopping Unintended Medicine Ingestion:

Canines are very resourceful and infrequently unintended ingestions occur. Fortunately, there are precautions you’ll be able to take to cut back your canine’s dangers. Dr. Ernie Ward affords the next ideas:


  • By no means go away any drugs on low counter tops or tables the place a curious canine may entry them.
  • Preserve your purse excessive out of attain in case you carry drugs inside.
  • Preserve all medicine and complement bottles securely closed with childproof caps.
  • If you happen to spill a liquid or topical drugs, instantly and totally clear it up.
  • If you happen to spill your drugs, choose them up instantly and depend them.
  • By no means give your canine any form of medicine or begin a complement with out first speaking along with your veterinarian.


Whereas it’s not all the time life-threatening when a canine eats human medicine, it ought to all the time be handled as such. Pets metabolize drugs very in another way than people, so even a drug that appears innocent may doubtlessly trigger issues. In case your canine ingests any human medicine – together with nutritional vitamins or natural dietary supplements – name your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline’s 24-hour animal poison management middle at 855-764-7661 instantly.


H/T to Pet Poison Helpline

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Tags: canine poisoning, medicine, drugs