Top 10 medicines that can harm your pet

Nov. 26, 2017—Giving a pet medicine for a human is never a good idea. Even though some medications are used for both people and pets, the effects and dosages are rarely the same. That means some drugs may hurt or even kill a pet.

But accidents happen. And sometimes pets eat something they shouldn't. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, one-quarter of the calls that come in to the Animal Poison Control Center are about human medicine eaten by a pet.

Which medicines are the most common pet poisoners? Here's a list:

1. Ibuprofen (Advil). This is the most common human medicine pets eat. The sweet coating on many brands makes it extra tempting. But this drug causes stomach ulcers and kidney failure in pets.

2. Tramadol (Ultram). This pain reliever is sometimes prescribed by veterinarians for pets. But too much tramadol can cause sleepiness, agitation and vomiting. Talk to your veterinarian before giving it to your pet.

3. Alprazolam (Xanax). This anti-anxiety medication, sometimes prescribed as a sleep aid, can make pets sleepy or agitated. It can also cause your pet's blood pressure to drop and even make them collapse.

4. Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine combo (Adderall). This medication for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may raise the heart rate and body temperature of a pet, which could result in tremors and seizures.

5. Zolpidem (Ambien). This sleep aid is commonly eaten by pets off bedside tables. It can cause agitation and an elevated heart rate.

6. Clonazepam (Klonopin). This anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety drug, sometimes prescribed as a sleep aid, may make pets sleepy and wobbly. Too much of it may lower their blood pressure and cause them to become weak and collapse.

7. Acetaminophen (Tylenol). This common painkiller is especially dangerous for cats, but it also affects dogs. It may cause liver damage and harm your pet's oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

8. Naproxen (Aleve). Dogs and cats are both sensitive to this over-the-counter pain reliever, which can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure.

9. Duloxetine (Cymbalta). Used as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety drug, it may cause pets to be more agitated and vocal. It can also result in tremors and seizures.

10. Venlafaxine (Effexor). This antidepressant is very appealing to cats. But it may cause a pet to be agitated and vocal. It may also lead to tremors and seizures.

In case of emergency

If your pet does get hold of any medicine, contact your veterinarian or a pet hospital immediately. Or call the Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. And to help keep the rest of your family safe, you can review: Medication Safety 101.

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