Animal lovers, beware. Several commonly used medications for humans can be absolutely deadly for pets. Occasionally, even a single pill may prove to be a fatal dose for a pet.
Accidental pet poisonings from prescription or over-the-counter drugs may account for an average of 25 percent of all calls received by the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center. Drug poisonings among pets may account for more than 180,000 calls a year to the ASPCA hotline.
What medications are most often ingested accidentally by domesticated animals?
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) listed several drugs, which may be safe and useful for humans, but prove particularly dangerous for pets. These included acetaminophen, amphetamines, anti-anxiety medicines, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, ibuprofen, naproxen, sedatives, sleep aids, and more.
As a rule, human medications should never be administered to animals, except under the specific direction of a veterinarian.
Consider these basic guidelines to protect pets from possible drug poisoning.
- Keep the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline number on-hand (888-426-4435), in case of pet poisoning.
- Store medications in a safe spot, such as a latched cupboard or locked closet.
- Never leave loose pills on a table or counter.
- Pick up any dropped pills immediately.
- Wipe up liquid medication spills right away and completely.
- Keep all medications out of pets’ reach.
- Wash out empty medication containers thoroughly, and discard them away from pets’ access.
- Contact a veterinarian promptly, if you suspect a pet may have swallowed medication accidentally.
Prevention and quick response are the keys to protecting pets from poisoning, particularly with medications intended for human use only.
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