We experience the world from our own perspectives. As a result, it is understandable that we would make judgments based on our own positions because that is the most natural course of action for us. Unfortunately, this is something that can lead to serious negative consequences under certain circumstances, as shown by how common human medicines can be toxic for pets.
There are a lot of stories out there about people attempting to feed human medicine to pets and vice versa. Sometimes, this is because they are attempting to cut down on their costs. Other times, well, suffice to say that there can be much less sympathetic causes for such behavior. Regardless, what is important is that pet owners should never make casual assumptions that what works for them will work for their pets and vice versa because humans are not the same as either cats or dogs, meaning that our systems don’t function the same.
For proof, look no further than the fact that a number of human cold and flu medicines can be outright toxic for cats, dogs, and other pet animals. Some examples include but are not limited to the acetaminophen found in Tylenol, the ibuprofen found in Advil, and the pseudoephedrine found in a wide range of human cold medicines. Based on this, it should be clear that pet owners need to be very careful about what their pets eat because the consequences can cause serious harm within a very short period of time.
What Should You Do If Your Pet Swallows Human Medicine?
It is difficult to predict what kinds of symptoms a pet will show if they eat human medication that is not suitable for their use. In part, this is because different pet animals will have different reactions. However, it should also be remembered that there is such a wide range of human medications out there.
Still, the symptoms can get very, very bad. For instance, as little as 30 mg of the substance called pseudoephedrine can kill a smaller cat or dog. Meanwhile, other cats and dogs who swallow the substance might experience symptoms such as higher blood pressure, higher heart rate, higher body temperature, hyper behavior, nervous behavior, and even seizures in some cases. Similarly, other human medications can cause serious symptoms that range from racing hearts to swollen faces, which could appear almost immediately or wait until more than 24 hours have passed before springing up.
Due to this, pet owners whose pets have swallowed some kind of human medication that is unsuitable for them should seek professional help sooner rather than later. Generally speaking, an emergency veterinarian is probably the best source of help. However, if emergency veterinarians are available to interested individuals, they might want to seek out some other source of assistance such as the ASPCA’s pet poison control hotline. Please note that such calls can come at a not insignificant cost of $65, but considering the potential consequences for pets that have eaten something that they really shouldn’t have, it seems probable that pet owners will believe it to be worth that cost.
How Can You Keep Your Medicine Out of Reach?
Of course, prevention tends to be a much better solution than scrambling for a cure in this as well as a wide range of other situations. As a result, pet owners should do their best to make sure that their medications are kept out of the reach of their pets because unintended ingestion is something that has been known to happen from time to time.
First, medications should be sealed whenever they are not being used. Second, the sealed medications should be stored in either a medicine cabinet or a drawer that pets can’t get into. Third, whenever medication spills out onto the ground, pet owners should make sure to clean them up and then toss them into a bin that their pets can’t get into, whether that means a bin on the outside or a bin with a very closely shut lid that can’t be pried open. This is critical because it is possible for pets to lick up spilled medications, which can pose a serious threat to their well-being. Summed up, so long as pet owners are willing to maintain a constant sense of vigilance, they should have no problems protecting their pets from their medications.