We are all guilty of it: thinking we can treat a problem at home rather than taking our pet to see the Veterinarian. Of course, we may not call our personal physicians if we have a minor cut, an ear infection or a cough. There are many over the counter treatments that are safe for humans to help treat these ailments. But those medications are often not safe for pets.
Many medications that are used to control pain in humans can affect our pet’s liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Tylenol, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen, even the low doses of the children’s or infant’s formula, can be fatal to some pets. There are times when these medications can be used for pets, but according to Dr. Laura Raiff, one of the Veterinarians at Grafton Animal Hospital, the margin of safety is very narrow, so this should only be done under the strict guidance of your pet’s Veterinarian.
Even topical antibiotics, such as Neosporin, can be dangerous. Dogs tend to lick at wounds that may be bothering them, and a topical medication, if ingested, can make them sick. Many over-the-counter antibiotics contain zinc and can be fatal if used on your pet bird.
Although not legal to buy and use in Virginia yet, Dr. Raiff recently worked in southern California and wants everyone to know of the dangers of giving your pet marijuana. Cannabis may be a good pain reliever in people, but it can be toxic to your pet.
Many medications are interchangeable between pets and people, but the concentration and dosing can be very different. If you consider using any type of human OTC medication for your pet, double check it’s safety and the correct dosage with your Veterinarian.