It’s common to see vets prescribing human medications to pets to treat certain health conditions. However, when pet owners try to self-medicate, they immediately put their dogs and cats in serious danger. This is because there are more than a few examples of completely safe human medications that are highly toxic to pets. Even if a human medication is deemed safe for pets the dosage needs to be measured according to your pet’s type and body weight.
Even the most common human medicines that are bought over the counter can prove to be life-threatening to some pets. The best way forward is to seek a vet’s advice and get pet meds online instead of trying human medicines. To help you understand the gravity of the risk, here’re some human pills that can potentially be deadly to pets.
Estrogen and Estradiol: Estrogen and Estradiol pills are common birth control medications prescribed to women. Either intentionally or by accident, if dogs end up swallowing birth control pills it can lead to some serious side effects. Apart from suffering from bone marrow suppression or myelotoxicity, pets can experience toxicity caused by heightened estrogen levels.
Ibuprofen: Ibuprofen is a common human drug prescribed to suppress pain and inflammation. However, when ingested by pets it can lead to ulceration of the stomach as well as kidney failure.
Alprazolam: Contemplating giving your dog a Xanax just so he would calm down and stop barking? Well, you shouldn’t. While being safe for humans Xanax or Alprazolam can cause severe weakness in pets. It can lead to a rapid drop in the blood pressure and cause sudden fainting.
Acetaminophen: The generic name of Tylenol and Advil, acetaminophen is a potent painkiller for humans. Acetaminophen is an over the counter drug which leads some pet parents to think that they are safe for both humans and pets. That’s a dangerous assumption. Cats are highly sensitive to acetaminophen and even a small dose can have fatal consequences. When given to pets this human med can lead to liver failure. The drug also ends up attacking the pet’s red blood cells and thus inhibiting oxygen supply.
Paracetamol: Often deemed as the safest painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug for humans, even small doses of paracetamol can end up killing your pet. Cats are especially vulnerable to paracetamol poisoning because their livers are not equipped to process the drug. A small 250mg paracetamol tablet is sometimes enough to kill. Vets often prescribe paracetamol for dogs. However, veterinary paracetamol pills are specially formulated. It’s also important to follow the dosage recommendation prescribed by the vet.
Aripiprazole: This is an antipsychotic drug prescribed to patients suffering from schizophrenia, depression, and other similar disorders. Dogs are natural foragers and they are known to have pills that are carelessly kept on bedside tables. Some pills also have bright colours and a candy-like appearance. When consumed, aripiprazole increases heart rate and sometimes induces violent seizures. Patients who are prescribed this drug are advised to keep them well away from children and pets.