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Over-the-Counter Medicine Concerns in Dogs

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Many medications are available without a prescription. These are referred to as "over-the-counter" medications and include treatments for headaches, stomachaches, stuffy noses, diarrhea and pain. They are sold in grocery stores, pharmacies or convenience stores.

It is quite tempting to give some of this medication to your pet. After all, if it helps you feel better, it is bound to help your pet. Wrong. Your pet's metabolism and organs function a little differently, and medication that may greatly improve your symptoms may be toxic to your pet.

Never give any medication without approval from your veterinarian. It's true that many medications available for people can help animals, but you must be careful to give the correct medication at the proper dose. It is important that you consult you're your veterinarian to avoid serious effects from overdose or toxicity of medications.

Some of the most common over-the-counter medications can result in serious illness if not used properly. Medications may include:

  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Aspirin
  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Imodium®
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Naproxen

    There are a variety of signs of toxicity that depend on the type of medication taken. Hyperactivity, vomiting, abdominal pain, bleeding stomach ulcers, blood disorders, constipation, liver damage and kidney damage are just a few of the complications that have been associated with improper use of over the counter medications.

    To avoid these problems, consult your veterinarian before giving any medicine. Even if your pet has successfully taken the medication in the past, check with your veterinarian first. This time, the dose may be different or that particular drug may not be best choice.

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