Unsafe Medications

By November 1, 2017Uncategorized

Dear loved and valued clients,

This is a warning surrounding this (above) popular image that has been circulating social media. It is providing false and deadly information regarding ‘safe’ at home remedies for your pets.

 

After an increase in severe, permanent, and deadly illnesses being seen at the clinic, we wish to make the repercussions of these medications clear for the safety of your pets!   

 

  • Benadryl

    • Firstly, the post has incorrectly spelled the drug name, indicating that this is not a reputable source of medical information.
    • Although useful for mild allergic reactions, it has little efficacy in helping with itching due to seasonal allergies or food allergies. It is typically overused for other medical problems where Benadryl is not indicated at all (i.e. anxiety, nausea, pain, motion sickness, etc.). It also comes in forms with additional ingredients (i.e. cold and flu versions) that can be harmful to your pet.
    • As such, we do not recommend giving this medication without consulting with a veterinarian for proper type, use, and dosage.
  • Dramamine

    • The dosage shown for this medication is not correct.
    • Rarely do veterinarians recommend this medication for motion sickness because we have medications that not only work better but are safer and have fewer side effects.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide

    • The dosage shown for this medication is not correct.
    • While hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting, there are medications that are safer and work more reliably. Also, whether or not vomiting should even be induced is a question for a veterinarian.
    • There are many risks to using hydrogen peroxide, such as irritation of the stomach and esophagus or even ulcers, which can be fatal. This graphic also does not state that hydrogen peroxide should never be used in cats!
  • Hydrocortisone

    • This medication is rarely recommended because what you may think is ‘just a rash’ is frequently a skin infection that requires antibiotic therapy. Hydrocortisone can also cause thinning of the skin, worsening of skin infections, and change in the pigment of the skin. It can even cause signs of Cushing’s disease if overused.
  • Pepcid and Zantac

    • While we do use antacid medications in our companion animals as a treatment for various conditions, these conditions need to first be diagnosed by a veterinarian.
  • Aspirin/Tylenol/Aleve (and any over the counter pain medications)

    • These medications are the main reason for this post. They are NEVER recommended for so many reasons. There are much safer medications that can be used instead of aspirin, which has many side effects, including ulcers of the gastrointestinal tract and impaired blood clotting. We see these side effects VERY frequently. Sometimes they are life-threatening and fatal.
    • They also cannot be used with many of the pain medications that veterinarian will typically prescribe (i.e. Metacam).
    • Please, we beg you to never give your dog Aspirin. We have seen too much suffering and death due to this drug!

  • Pepto-Bismol/Bismuth

    • Is not recommended because it has salicylates (aspirin-like compound) that can be dangerous, particularly in cats.
    • Giving this medication may interfere with our ability to read x-rays because bismuth (one of the ingredients in this medication) will show up white on the x-rays. This can hide foreign bodies in the GI tract.
    • We have much better medications to treat the underlying condition causing the diarrhea or vomiting, so this is yet another medication we would never recommend giving.
  • Gas-X

    • This medication is not something that is frequently used in veterinary medicine because it is not effective.
    • If a dog appears gassy or bloated a better option would be to have a veterinarian diagnose and treat the underlying cause, especially in cases of potential GDV (a life-threatening emergency where the stomach flips).
  • Imodium A-D

    • The dosage shown for this medication is not correct.
    • This medication works by altering the movement of the intestines and is potentially dangerous in cases where the cause of the diarrhea is something related to infection or toxins. In that case, the last thing we want to do is prevent elimination.
    • It can be fatal in certain breeds of dogs who have a known genetic mutation (herding breeds like Collies) and are sensitive to certain medications.
  • Robitussin DM

    • This medication is particularly dangerous because there are so many formulations of Robitussin that contain ingredients that can kill your pet with a single dose.
    • We have more efficacious medications for a cough and the underlying cause of a cough needs to be diagnosed before treatment. Causes of a cough include upper respiratory infection, pneumonia, collapsing trachea, heartworm disease, and congestive heart failure. All of these conditions require completely different treatments.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your pet’s health, please ask a veterinarian! We love when our clients call and ask questions regarding their pet’s health. We want to make sure your pet is getting the BEST medical attention we can give them.

 So, please share this post with your friends and family so we can empower pet owners with CORRECT information,

The staff at the Mildmay Veterinary Clinic.

Leave a Reply