We know that our pet’s noses will get into everything. Kitchen counters, open purses, backpacks, bedside tables. And these are places where we sometimes keep our medicines. Ingesting any of these medicines meant for humans can even be fatal for our pets. Let’s have a look at a few such potentially deadly medicines that we definitely need to keep our pets away from.
NSAIDs or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are commonly found in most households. These include brand names like Motrin, Advil and Aleve. These can be deadly for pets if they ingest them. Just a couple pills that they pick up from the bedside table can cause serious stomach and intestinal ulcers or even kidney failure.
This is another over-the- counter drug commonly found in almost all homes, usually under the brand name Tylenol. Although it is safe for even kids to take, in animals it can cause serious damage. In cats, acetaminophen can damage the red blood cells causing serious distress in the animal and in dogs it can lead to liver failure.
3. Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills containing estrogen and estradiol can cause bone marrow suppression and serious side effects in dogs, cats and birds, with the females suffering more severe side effects than males.
Some antidepressants meant for humans are also prescribed by vets for animals. But an overdose can be very dangerous for them. It can cause severe neurological problems like sedation, tremors, loss of coordination and seizures. Commonly available brands include Prozac, Lexapro, Cymbalta etc.
5. ADHD/ADD Medications
Medicines prescribed for these ailments contain very strong stimulants and can cause serious side effects if ingested by pets. Even a small dose of these medicines can cause life-threatening side effects like elevated body temperatures, seizures and heart problems. Common brand names include Concerta, Ritalin and Adderall.
6. Benzodiazepines (Sleeping pills)
Drugs like Xanax and Ambien, that are regularly used to help patients fall asleep, can sometimes have a completely reverse effect on animals and can get them agitated. In other cases, the drug can cause severe lethargy, slowed breathing and listlessness.
7. Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs
Statins used to lower cholesterol in humans and almost a staple in most homes, aren’t fit for animal use and if consumed over a long period of time can cause some potentially serious problems. In majority of cases, the pet usually suffers from an intestinal upset, vomiting and diarrhea.
8. Thyroid Hormones
Thyroid hormones, when prescribed to animals, tend to be in much higher doses than the ones prescribed for humans. But if your pet gets his hands on the bottle and ingests many pills at once, he can have severe reactions to the drug like increased aggression, tremors, panting and an elevated heart rate.
Beta-blockers are regularly prescribed for humans suffering from blood pressure problems. In animals like cats, dogs and birds it can result in serious and sometimes life threatening drop in blood pressure. Common brand names include Coreg, Toprol and Tenormin.
10. ACE Inhibitors
ACE inhibitors are used to treat high blood pressure in both humans and animals. An overdose, however, can cause a life-threatening drop in blood pressure, dizziness and weakness.
How to Prevent a Mishap
All medicines, meant for humans or animals should be kept well away from the reach of pets. Even natural products and herbal supplements need to be stored out of their reach. That is because the chemicals in these medicines and supplements get metabolized very differently in animals than they are in humans and may lead to severe or sometimes even life threatening consequences.
Medicines are best stored in a cabinet that is too high for your pets’ reach and impossible for them to open. It’s not a good idea to leave medicines on the night stand, kitchen counter or the coffee table, and if you accidentally drop any pills, you will need to ensure you pick up each pill before your pets get to them.
Also, it’s a good idea to store human and animal medication in two separate places to avoid any mix-ups.