9 Human Medications That Are Safe For Sick Pets


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There are many human medications that are harmful to your pets. But there are also some that could be a lifesaver! Sometimes, human medications have the ability to help sick pets, or at least provide quick relief. These medications are vet approved and pose no threats to your pets. Remember to take your pet’s size into account when administering these drugs to them.Here are 9 medications that are safe for your pet.

  1. MiraLAXThe main use of this drug is to help reduce constipation. Give this to your pet in small doses in order to help relieve the discomfort and pain of constipation. Although it’s safe, ask your vet for the proper dosage when it comes to animals of various sizes and stages of life. If this drug is overly administered, it may cause diarrhea which, in turn, causes dehydration.
  2. Pepcid The use of this drug is to protect the stomach lining and help reduce acidity in the stomach. It can be used to prevent and treat inflammation and ulcers that are caused by acidity in the stomach for both humans and pets. It can sometimes also help with the vomiting. If symptoms continue after the administration of the drug, seek veterinary advice. The signs of overdose are increased heart rate, vomiting, pale gums, red ears and mouth,  low blood pressure, and restlessness.
  3. Prilosec Used to treat and reduce stomach acid. Another safe medication to reduce stomach acidity problems. Although safe, side effects may include diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, flatulence, and a change in behavior and urination patterns.
  4. Lomotil Used to treat cough and diarrhea. While it is capable of treating diarrhea, it is more commonly used as a treatment for cough in dogs. Lomotil dries out the air passages and reduces the frequency of the spasms that lead to excessive coughing.
  5. Benedryl Used as a mild sedative and an antihistamine. Just like we use Benedryl to treat allergic reactions, it can be used for the same purpose in our pets, with a moderation in the dosage. It also works as a mild sedative to pets who are restless during travel. It helps relieve motion sickness. Side effects are decreased urination, dry mouth, loss of appetite, and vomiting.
  6. Saline Drops Saline drops can be used on pets as a way to clear the upper airways in the nose, to relieve congestion. Saline eye drops can also be used to help alleviate slight conjunctivitis and other irritations in the eyes.
  7. Dramamine Used to relieve vertigo and motion sickness. It can also alleviate the sins of carsickness. The most popular side effect is drowsiness.
  8. Supplements Although not all supplements are suitable for pets, supplements such as Chondroitin, Glucosamine, and Omega-3 can be hugely beneficial in improving joint health for pets. These supplements can be used to treat joint problems and pain caused by arthritis.
  9. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide can be a lifesaver for when your pet has swallowed something dangerous. It induces vomiting in order to get the harmful substance out of your pet’s digestive system.

How excess vitamin D makes dogs sick

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Vitamin D is a mineral extremely important for the regulation of calcium and phosphorous in a dog’s body, it also aids in the retention of calcium which promotes healthy bone growth and development. It must be surprising to hear that too much vitamin D can cause fatal effects in dogs, such as threatening levels of calcium known as Hypercalcemia, and threatening levels of phosphorous called hyperphosphatemia. There are several ways vitamin D poisoning can occur, but the most commonly reported is due to chemicals used to kill rodents. There is no safe age limit to vitamin D poisoning, all dogs can fall prey to this disease, though younger dogs or puppies are more prone to do so.

Common symptoms
There are several methods to diagnose vitamin D poisoning, some common symptoms are listed below:

  1. Loss of appetite.
  2. Dark feces containing blood.
  3. Abdominal pain
  4. Excessive drooling.
  5. Loss of weight.
  6. Muscle tremors.
  7. Vomit containing blood.
  8. Increased urination.
  9. Increased thirst.
  10. Depression.
  11. Constipation.
  12. Seizures.
  13. Weakness.

The initial signs of vitamin D poisoning generally go by unnoticed, and sometimes it may take up to 2-3 days for serious signs to show up. Hence, being alert and cautious of these symptoms can be life-saving for your dog.

Diagnosing vitamin D poisoning

Once you suspect a vitamin D overdose and take your dog over to the vet, there will be a number of tests starting with blood work, specifically of the kidney function, urine concentrations and electrolytes. If there is no known history of vitamin D poisoning, the vet may also run additional tests to rule out other diseases such as cancer, bladder stones and hyperparathyroidism, as these can portray similar symptoms.

Treating an overdose

A vitamin D overdose can be fatal for dogs, an urgent and aggressive treatment is extremely necessary to save the life of your pooch. The treatment will include intensive care, round-the-clock, for a duration of 48 hours. The treatment further includes:

  • Decontamination. This includes induced vomiting, followed by giving several doses of charcoal to remove the poison from the intestines.
  • Gastrointestinal antacids that will aid in decreasing phosphorous.
  • Intensive IV fluids, which will help flush the excess calcium out of the body.
  • Medication to remove calcium from the body.
  • Medication to prevent hypercalcemia.

Observing kidney function and electrolytes is extremely necessary even after going home as the goal is to prevent acute kidney failure and hypercalcemia.
The treatment can be quite expensive, but it is a small price to pay for the life of your dog.
Staying alert and cautious for early signs is the best way to increase the chances of a healthy life for your beloved pooch.

What human pain med can I give to my dog?

Seeing your furry companion in pain is the hardest thing you can imagine as a pet parent. Your first instinct will be to give the pain medications available at home. However, the common over-the-counter human painkillers like Acetaminophen, Naproxen, and Ibuprofen are not safe for dogs. Even a safe medication has a different optimal dosing for dogs. Additionally, human medications may be harmful or toxic to pets because of the form in which they are carried or the additives added to them. These medications may have severe side effects, such as stomach bleeding, liver failure, or kidney failure. Always see a vet to address canine pain, and use pain medications specifically designed for canines. Remember to ensure that they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Is cetirizine safe for dogs? 

Yes, cetirizine is safe for most dogs, but you must consult your vet before administering it to your furry companion. Also, products with only cetirizine as the sole active ingredient should be used. Avoid anything with a combination of other ingredients that are safe for humans but toxic for animals. Michael Hoover, a DVM from the University of Missouri-Columbia, notes that pet parents should ensure that the medication does not have Tylenol or decongestant. Besides cetirizine, chlorpheniramine, loratadine, and diphenhydramine are other common antihistamines that work for dogs. However, each of these medications is appropriate for different problems. For example, cetirizine (Zyrtec) is the best option for addressing itching from allergies. 

How much paracetamol can I give to my dog?

You should not give human Paracetamol to your dog unless recommended by a vet. They may prescribe Paracetamol specifically formulated for dogs when it has a fever. According to a recent survey conducted in the UK, the majority of veterinarians regarded paracetamol as an effective analgesic and antipyretic with minimal side effects. They reported a weekly frequency of use of 1–3 times with oral dosing considered as the most common route of administration. However, you must seek advice on dosing because high doses may have toxic effects on animals. The ideal dose is 10-15 mg per kilogram of the dog’s weight, usually given twice a day. This is only a rough guide, as your vet will consider factors like your pet’s medical history and other medications being taken to determine the right dose. They will also check red blood cell count and check liver and kidney function before prescribing paracetamol.

Can I use human medicine on cats?

You can give a medication intended for humans to a cat only if prescribed by a veterinarian. Besides getting approval for the product, you must also seek recommendations for dose and frequency to avoid poisoning. According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, who has worked as an associate vet and chief of staff in practices in Colorado, Virginia, and Colorado, many of the pain relievers used by humans are dangerous for cats, even in minimal doses. One regular-strength Tylenol has enough acetaminophen to kill some cats, as it can damage a cat’s liver and red blood cells. The average cat weighs a fraction of human weight, which can make a normal human prescription fatal for cats.

What human antibiotics are safe for cats?

Several antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, cephalexin, clindamycin, and trimethoprim sulfa, are safe for cats. However, the safety of these antibiotics for cats depends on the proper dose, right frequency, and administration for the correct condition. Amoxicillin, for example, is safe for use in most cats as it shows a few side effects. Your veterinarian will check your pet's symptoms and health condition to determine the right medication and safe dose. At the same time, you must understand the related risks, as antibiotics ingested in toxic amounts can result in mild to severe side effects. These may include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, skin lesions, liver failure, and kidney failure. 

What can I give a cat for vomiting?

When your cat vomits, you must keep it hydrated by giving it a couple of tablespoons of water every half hour. Alternatively, provide them with ice cubes during a fasting period of 12 hours. Once it gets through this fasting time, start with bland food in small quantities and gradually return to normal feeding after the vomiting stops.  Take your kitty to a vet as soon as possible if it vomits more than three times. Treatment should be started quickly if there is a serious underlying cause. Liz Waynick, a Registered Vet Tech (RVT) from Vet Tech Institute in Pittsburgh, states that unusual symptoms like vomiting white foam require due attention. Cats may vomit white foam due to reasons such as irritation or inflammation in the digestive system, internal parasites, ingestion of a foreign body, bacterial or viral infections, food intolerance or allergy, or kidney or thyroid issues.

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