Last fall we published a list of 3 common medications that you should never give to your dog (or cat) (Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Acetaminophen) . We decided to add some more less common (but no less dangerous) human medications to that list!
Just remember that a medication that does one thing for people does not necessarily do the same for our pets!! And although this may be the list of the medications about which the APCC (ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center) receives the largest numbers of complaints, remember that any human medication could pose a risk to your pets – not just these ones.
Also, remember that these ingredients are sometimes branded without the component itself. Tylenol, for example, contains Acetominophen, so it is also poinsonous to pets.
1. Tramadol - Tramadol (Ultram®) is a pain reliever. Your veterinarian may prescribe it for your pet, but only at a dose that's appropriate for your pet – never give your medication to your pet without first consulting your veterinarian! Too much tramadol can cause sedation or agitation, wobbliness, disorientation, vomiting, tremors and possibly seizures.
2. Alprazolam - Alprazolam (Xanax®) is prescribed as an anti-anxiety medication and a sleep-aid. Most pets that ingest alprazolam can become sleepy and wobbly; however a few will become very agitated instead. These pills are commonly ingested by pets as people put them out on the nightstand so they remember to take them. Large doses of alprazolam can drop the blood pressure and could cause weakness or collapse.
3. Adderall - Adderall® is a combination of four different amphetamines and is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. This medication doesn't have the same effect in pets as it does in people; it acts as a stimulant in our pets and causes elevated heart rate and body temperature, along with hyperactivity, tremors and seizures.
4. Zolpidem - Zolpidem (Ambien®) is a sleep-aid for people. Pets commonly eat pills left on the bedside table. Zolpidem may make cats wobbly and sleepy, but most pets become very agitated and develop elevated heart rates.
5. Clonazepam - Clonazepam (Klonopin®) is used as an anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety medication. It is sometimes also prescribed as a sleep-aid. When animals ingest clonazepam they can become sleep and wobbly. Too much clonazepam can lower the blood pressure, leading to weakness or collapse.
6. Naproxen - Naproxen (Aleve®, Naprosyn®) is an over-the-counter pain reliever. Dogs and cats are very sensitive to naproxen and even small amounts can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure.
7. Duloxetine - Duloxetine (Cymbalta®) is prescribed as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety agent. When ingested by pets it can cause agitation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.
8. Venlafaxine - Venlafaxine (Effexor®) is an antidepressant. For some unknown reason, cats love to eat the capsules. Ingestion can cause agitation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.
If your pet HAS taken one of these medications, call the Pet Poison hotline immediately!