People Pills for Pets
GAINESVILLE- Over the counter drugs are intended for humans, but some people give those medications to their pets.
We investigate which over the counter drugs are safe and which can kill your pets.
"I actually give my dog of the counter medications a lot," said Brittany Norton.
Gainesville resident Brittany Norton has a 13 -year -old rat terrier named Georgie. Georgie is allergic to pretty much everything.
"He is allergic to the fabric softeners on my bed so whenever he sleeps with me he ends up scratching so much that he bleeds. So I just give him a couple of Benadryl throughout the day he is fine," said Norton.
Norton uses other over the counter medications such as Claritin and Pepcid AC. But there's only one reason why she gives her dog human medications.
"My vet actually recommended it to me. So I know it's safe and I was given the dosage," said Norton.
Many other residents seem to agree with Norton.
"I would go to the vet first before giving her anything like straight from the store," said Anthony Jackson.
"Human medicines aren't intended for pets unless you checked with the vet and you know that it's safe. We don't just to do it to try it out," said a dog owner.
These over the counter drugs are safe for humans, but there is a narrow margin of safety for your pet. Local veterinarian Jenn Dean said vets will occasionally recommend over the counter drugs.
"Sometimes antihistamines and anti- nausea drugs but it's never even safe to give something to your pet without specifically talking to your veterinarian and getting the correct dose and the correct medication from them," said Dr. Dean.
Dogs and cats are a lot smaller than us in most cases so the doses are very different. Dog owner Chris Morz knows exactly how much Benadryl to give his Doxin whenever he's itchy.
"What they prescribed to us is that you can take a normal adult size Benadryl and cut it in a half and give him," said Morz.
Dr.Dean said in some cases Benadryl, Neosporin and anti-nausea medications can help cure animals, but it depends on the pet.
"Even though some of those drugs can be really safe for your pet, they may have specific health problems that would make them unsafe or maybe they are on other medications that would interact with them," said Dr. Dean
It's crucial to know why you are giving the drug to your cat or dog.
"Every itchy dog doesn't need Benadryl. Every vomiting dog doesn't need Pepto-bismol things like that."
Some residents said they give their dog Pepto-bismol when they have an upset stomach, but this over the counter drug can hurt other animals.
"Pepto-bismol has some compounds in it called salicylates that are related to aspirin. Particularly in cats they can cause problems so it wouldn't be something that's safe for all dogs," said Dr. Dean.
Although vets will occasionally suggest human medications for dogs and cats, there are a few no no's.
"I can't imagine things like Tylenol would be a good idea for a dog," said a resident.
Over the counter pain medication such as Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil, Aspirin and Tylenol are highly toxic.
"Dogs and cats do not handle and metabolize those drugs well and even a single pill is enough to kill some animals," said Dr. Dean.
While there's no problem dropping by a store and purchasing over the counter drugs for yourself, make sure to make that phone call before testing out these drugs on your companion.
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