Veterinarians are specifically trained to diagnose and treat animals, and lots of resources have been poured into the research and development of animal treatment products, be it medications, supplements or diets.
What may work for humans may not necessarily work on animals! Some human medications can in fact be toxic to animals and it is vital that we keep them well out of reach of curious critters. Some examples of human medications that are harmful to animals include Pseudoephedrine, a decongestant commonly found in over the counter Antihistamine/decongesting tablets to unblock airways, and Paracetamol/Acetaminophen, a common anti-inflammatory, pain relief tablet that is severely toxic to cats. Human supplements may also not be formulated in a form that is of the correct dosage or digestibillity to the animal, and may cause more harm than good.
Here are some handy tips to prevent medication accidents in our homes:
- Always keep human medications away from pets unless specifically instructed by a veterinarian to give the medication
- Do not leave medications in places where your pet can access it easily
- Maintain awareness when handling medications. If any is dropped, pick it up immediately so that your pet has less risk of accidental ingestion
- Always contact your attending veterinarian if your pet has ingested any medication not prescribed for them
- Never give human medication or supplements to your pet. When in doubt, always consult your preferred veterinarian for advice!