Hi! Its me, Sammy-Joe, with brand new feature for the blog! My doggie sisters and I had a meeting the other day, and we thought we'd like to bring just a little bit education to the blog. So, every Sunday will be Smarty Sunday, where I, Sammy-Joe, will share some smarties with you! I might write about a pet-related news story, review a pet-related book, or point you towards pet-related website. You never know what you're gonna get on Smarty Sunday!
Today I wanted to tell all the pets out there about something very important.. A lot of humans take medications... whether it is something they have to take every day, or just a pain killer when they have a headache. Have you ever been in the room when your human was opening a bottle of medicine, and they dropped it, and the pills rolled all over the place? Or maybe they took just one out of the bottle, and it slipped from their fingers, and they couldn't find it? That happens to a lot of people. It has happened to my Mama a whole bunch of times. But the bad news is, if you're a pet, and you snatch one of the pills and swallow it, that can be very dangerous! We can get really sick from human medications.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASCPA) has a list of the top ten things that are poisonous to animals. They get this list from counting actual incidents of animals being poisoned. For the past few years, human medications have been at the top of the list. On their website, the ASPCA lists some of the most dangerous medications to pets. Here are a few examples of what we pets need to stay away from!
1. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) (my Mama helped me spell that!) Thats a type of medicine that a lot of people take as a mild pain killer or fever reducer. The ones you probably have in your house include asprin, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, Toradol or Celebrex. Taking even one pill can be really bad for pets, and can cause things like ulcers and kidney damage.
2. Antidepressants. A lot of humans take these. But if a pet takes one, it can cause all sorts of problems, including throwing up, diarrhea, problems with heart rate and blood pressure, seizures, and even comas!
3. Acetaminophen. This is another pain killer. Your humans probably call it something like Tylenol or Excedrin. There are also a lot of cold, flu and allergy medications that have acetaminophen in them. Some humans actually think it is okay to give a dog or cat acetaminophen, or a children's version, when they're in pain. Tell your humans NO WAY!
4. Methylphenidate. This is a medication for ADHD. If your humans use it, they probably call it something like Ritalin, Concerta, or Focalin. This can cause pets seizures, tremors, elevated heart rates, and more! Stay away, pets!
5. Pseudoephedrine. This is used for humans with stuffy noses. Sudafed is one name for it. A lot of other cold or flu medicines have it in them, too. If you are a pet, this medicine will make you really hyper. It can also raise your blood pressure and heart rate, and make you have a seizure.
6. Diabetes Medications. This can cause a pet's blood sugar level to drop really fast, causing them to become uncoordinated and confused, and possibly to have a seizure.
7. Vitamin D pills. These pills have tons of calcium in them. Too much calcium is bad! It can even cause kidney failure.
These are just a few examples of medications that can make pets very sick, or even kill us. So pets, tell your humans to be extremely careful about their medications! Humans should keep medications high up, where we can't reach them. The medicine cabinet is a good place for them, or on a shelf in a closet! Some humans might leave pills out on the counter so they remember to take them... but we might get to them first! Humans should not leave medications, especially loose medications or medications wrapped in a plastic bag or something, in purses or bags where we nosey pets can find them. They should also not throw medications away in the garbage can, because we might get into the garbage! And humans should never, ever, ever try to treat their pet with a human medication, without talking to the vet first.
If a pet does accidentally take a human medication, humans can call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline, which is (888) 426-4435. They'll charge you $65 for this service. (I think thats kinda not fair to charge humans. What if they don't have a credit card or something? The human poison control hotline is free! I'm just saying!) It is also always a good idea to have the number of your veterinarian, and the number of a 24/7 veterinarian, in a place where humans can easily find it in case of an emergency.
So what have we learned today? Pets + Human Medication = BAD NEWS!
/ b l u r