Navigation Links
Human Meds Are Pets' Biggest Poisoning Danger
Date:8/13/2010

By Maryann Mott
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- When John D'Amato arrived home early from work one day, he found an empty bottle of ibuprofen on the living room floor -- and one very sick pet.

His Great Dane puppy, Otis, had knocked the pain-reliever container off the coffee table -- where D'Amato had left it the night before -- and devoured dozens of the pills.

"My heart dropped through the floor," he said of the discovery.

D'Amato rushed the 85-pound puppy to a veterinary clinic near his home in Manchester, N.H., where the staff immediately induced vomiting and began administering IV fluids. Had D'Amato arrived home much later, Otis might not have survived.

Ingestion of over-the-counter and prescription drugs formulated for humans are by far the most common cause of pet poisonings in this country, veterinarians say.

Since the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, Ill., began keeping statistics in 2002, human medications have consistently topped its annual list of the most toxic substances pets ingest.

Of the 98,000 calls received so far this year, about one-third involve dogs and cats consuming human medications, says Camille DeClementi, a veterinary toxicologist with APCC.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as Advil, Aleve and Motrin, are among the top offenders, the APCC finds. Other drugs commonly eaten by dogs and some felines include antidepressants (Prozac), acetaminophen (Tylenol), anti-anxiety drugs (Xanax), sleep aids (Ambien) and beta-blocker blood pressure medications (Tenormin or Toprol.)

"The most toxic things in our homes are the medications we take," she said. "Animals are inquisitive, and get into things they're not supposed to."

Pets knock vials off countertops and nightstands, or owners mistakenly think they're helping their pets by giving them human medication to alleviate some sort of ailment.

That's a big no-no.

"Dogs' and cats' metabolisms are different from ours, so they can't always process the same drugs we can," explains Silene Young, a former emergency room veterinarian who works for Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) in Brea, Calif.

Just one extra-strength Tylenol, for example, can kill a cat. And the anti-cancer topical treatment, Fluorouracil, can be fatal in dogs, even in the tiniest doses ingested -- say, from chewing on the discarded cotton swabs used to apply the cream, according to veterinary toxicologists.

Medication mix-ups cause unintentional poisonings too. By grabbing the wrong bottle, some owners inadvertently give their pet medication that's really meant for them or other humans.

Keeping animal and human medications in separate drawers or cabinets is the simplest way to prevent those types of mishaps from occurring.

It's also a good idea, veterinarians say, for owners to take their medication in the bathroom with the door shut. That way, if a pill drops on the floor, they have time to retrieve it before the dog does.

Luckily, a good portion of pet poisoning cases are treatable at home if caught right away, says the DeClementi. The center runs a 24-7 hotline staffed by veterinary toxicologists who give diagnostic and treatment recommendations for poison-related emergencies in animals.

And if a trip to the veterinary hospital is warranted, you'd better take along your credit card. Treating a pet that has ingested a human medication costs owners, on average, $791 before insurance reimbursement, according to VPI.

As for Otis, the Great Dane, he pulled through just fine after three days of intravenous fluids and close monitoring by veterinarians.

The sheer number of pills he gobbled -- at least 35 -- could have caused gastric ulcers or kidney failure, both of which can cause death.

Quick action taken by his owner, though, saved the young dog's life and stopped internal damage from developing. "He's been back for check-ups since [the incident]," says D'Amato, "and he's a very healthy dog."

More information

For first aid tips involving pets, see the American Veterinary Medical Association.

SOURCES: Camille DeClementi, V.M.D., veterinary toxicologist, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, Ill.; Silene Young, director of professional services, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), Brea, Calif.; John D'Amato, Manchester, N.H.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. NIH launches effort to define markers of human immune responses
2. New human adenovirus may not make for good vaccines, after all
3. Human clinical trial of NIH-developed dengue vaccine begins
4. Human embryonic stem cells purified in new, rapid technique
5. Scientists develop the first model for investigating the origins of testicular cancer in humans
6. Scientists unravel human-ecosystem interactions
7. UCLA scientists for the first time identify a cell-of-origin for human prostate cancer
8. Plant compound resveratrol shown to suppresses inflammation, free radicals in humans
9. Non-human sugar in biotech drugs causes inflammation
10. Cancer-metabolism link runs deep in humans
11. UCLA scientists isolate the first stages of tissue production in human embryonic stem cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Human Meds Are Pets' Biggest Poisoning Danger
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating ... many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who ... of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from ... at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center ... care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn ... X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson ... Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. ... the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... PUNE, India , June 24, 2016 ... "Pen Needles Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety ... 12mm), Therapy (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase ... published by MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for ... is expected to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: