National Annual Posion Prevention Week.

March 20th – 26th is National Annual Poison Prevention Week. In an effort to increase awareness to the risks that are present in our household for our pets, the following is the Top Ten Medications in our Household that will seriously affect your pet if they get to them: 1. NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory): these tend to be some of the most common, and are what humans refer to as pain reliever: (Advil, Aleve, Motrin). These are seriously dangerous to our pets and even 1 or 2 pills can cause serious stomach and intestinal ulcers as well as kidney failure. 2. Acetaminophen (Tylenol): In cats and large dogs, a dose of Tylenol can cause damage to their red blood cells, reducing the ability to carry oxygen. In dogs it also has the ability to cause liver failure. 3. Antidepressants (Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro): Although these may sometimes be used to treat pets, overdoses can lead to serious neurological issues such as tremors and seizures. Some of these can also have a stimulant effect increasing heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. 4. ADD/ADHD Medications (Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall): these typically have amphetamines or other potent stimulants, so even in small quantities these can cause life-threatening tremors, seizures, and high body temperature and heart problems to your pets. 5. Sleep Aids and Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Lunesta): Although these are used to reduce anxiety in humans, about half of the ingested cases in pets result in extreme agitation. In the other half, it may cause extreme lethargy, incoordination and slow breathing. I can also cause liver failure in cats. 6. Birth Control (estrogen, progesterone, estradiol): In small quantities these typically don’t cause serious reactions, however larger exposure may cause bone marrow suppression, and in female intact pets the risks tends to be higher. 7. ACE Inhibitors (Zestril, Altace): Although these are also used in pets, and small amounts will typically not create a life threatening event, in pets with a history of kidney failure or heart disease, ingestion could be fatal. 8. Beta-blockers (Tenormin, Toprol, Coreg): Even in small quantities, these can cause life threatening decreases in blood pressure and a very slow heart rate. 9. Thyroid Hormones (Synthroid): In small dogs and cats it can cause muscle tremors, nervouseness, panting and a rapid heart rate. 10. Cholesterol lowering agents (Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor): One time ingestions may cause vomiting or diarrhea, causing other issues such as dehydration.

Always keep medications safely out of reach and always consult your veterinarian prior to administering any medication. Keep your medications separate from those of your pets to prevent “accidents” and if your pet gets into anything and/or is showing signs of poison, contact you veterinarian immediately or Poison Control at 800-213-6680. Poison Control has a $35.00 fee per case.

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