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What Common Human Medications Are Dangerous for Pets?

Stories from HART

What Common Human Medications Are Dangerous for Pets?

Sarah Myers

It is difficult to see our pets suffer in pain. While there are some human medications that our pets can have, there are some common medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, that are extremely dangerous for pets. Before considering giving your pet any human treatment, it is important to contact Dr. Jessy at HART Bredel Veterinary Clinic to determine if the medicine is safe. 

Here is a short list of medications that are dangerous for your pet:

Aleve / Ibuprofen

Aleve is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication for humans. However, this medication is not safe for dogs. If dogs get Aleve in their system, it can cause liver damage, kidney damage, stomach ulcers, intestinal ulcers, anemia, gastrointestinal issues, ulcers, damage to the renal system, central nervous system, cardiac arrest, seizures, and neurological issues. Your dog can become weak, lose his/her appetite, and be sluggish. Ingestion of Aleve or ibuprofen in any amount can cause death.

In cats, Aleve is equally as dangerous. If your cat ingests this medication, he/she can experience bloody vomiting, bloody diarrhea, sluggishness, weakness, dehydration, pale gums, and seizures. Aleve can also cause damage to the digestive system and kidneys. Ingestion of Aleve in any amount can be fatal to cats as well.

Aspirin / Aleve

Aspirin is also a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for humans, but is dangerous to pets. Aspirin offers some side effects for dogs such as weakness, sluggishness, upset stomach, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. These aren’t necessarily panic worthy. However, there are some side effects that are serious such as vomiting, bloody stool, black stool, and mucous in the stool. If your dog has ingested too much aspirin, he/she may experience blood loss/bleeding, seizures, fever, dehydration, panting, and loss of consciousness.

In cats, symptoms of Aspirin ingestion can bring side effects such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, ulcers in the stomach and intestines, trouble walking, and loss of consciousness. In some cases, sudden death may also occur.

Acetaminophen / Tylenol

Tylenol is given to humans to reduce aches, pain, and fever. However, Tylenol can be harmful to dogs. If Tylenol doesn’t kill your dog, it can still bring harmful side effects such as damage to liver, kidneys, and other organs.

In cats, ingesting Tylenol can cause discolored gums, trouble breathing, swelling, hypothermia, vomiting, coma, and jaundice.


Birth Control / Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

            Birth control pills have a small amount of estrogen, so pets would have to ingest a lot of pills to be impacted. However, HRT has much higher levels of estrogen and could quickly cause aplastic anemia and/or bone marrow suppression. Female pets who have not been spayed can have increased side effects from estrogen poisoning.

Common sense will help keep your pets safe:

-Store medicines in their bottle and not directly on nightstand or out in a tray
-Store medicines in a location where pets cannot reach. Pill bottles are especially easy to chew through for most dogs.
-Immediately pick up any pills that are dropped

Remember that our dogs and cats metabolize medicines differently than humans do. Contact Dr. Jessy if you think your pet is in pain and certainly before you consider giving your pet any medicine from your medicine cabinet. If you have already used any of the medicines listed above, contact HART Bredel Veterinary Clinic immediately!