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Human Medications Pose Danger to Your Pet

It is easy to feel like our pets aren’t so different from us physically. We share many of the same basic needs as well as the warm bond of their companionship. When you see your dog or cat suffering, it can be tempting to think that maybe some of the same medications you take could help ease their pain or discomfort. However, many common human medications can be harmful or even deadly to our pets.  Be sure to keep the following medications stored safely away from the prying paws of cats and dogs and never give human medication to your pet unless specifically directed to do so by your veterinarian.

Common over-the-counter medications that humans safely take on a regular basis can cause serious harm to our pets.  Even small doses of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can poison cats and dogs and cause stomach ulcers and kidney damage.  Acetaminophen also poses dangers if ingested by your pet. Cats tend to be more sensitive to the ill effects of acetaminophen, including red blood cell damage and harm to their livers. Another common over-the-counter drug that can be deadly when given to pets is pseudophedrine. This drug is found in many popular cold and sinus products. If ingested by your pet, this drug can cause elevated heart rate, fever and even seizures.

Pets can also suffer serious consequences from getting into the prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet.  Antidepressants can make your dog or cat vomit, appear lethargic and experience tremors or seizures. Medications used to treat ADHD in humans can cause rapid heart rates, high blood pressure and seizures in pets. If your dog or cat ingests oral diabetes medications, these drugs can cause a drop in blood sugar. Low blood sugar can cause your pet to become disoriented, lose coordination or have a seizure. If you suspect your pet has ingested any human medications, contact your veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian may be able to help reverse the ill effects of these drugs. Keep your pet safe by making sure your medicine is kept securely stored out of reach of your kitty or pup.

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