What to Do if Your Dog Eats Trazodone® Medication?

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How is Trazodone® Toxicity in Dogs Treated? 

There is no specific antidote for Trazodone toxicity in dogs. Treatment will be determined on the amount your dog ate, size of your dog, concurrent medical problems, when the toxic dose was ingested, and symptoms your dog is displaying. If your dog ingests Trazodone®, call your veterinarian for recommendations.

The first and most important recommendation when toxic doses of Trazodone are ingested is to prevent absorption of the drug. The two most common methods to prevent absorption is to get the drug out of your dog's system by inducing vomiting or to prevent absorption with a product called Activated Charcoal. Activated charcoal works to prevent further absorption of Trazodone into your dog's body.

Some veterinarians may recommend that you induce vomiting in your dog if toxic doses were ingested within the past few hours (preferably within 15 – 30 minutes). They may recommend you do this at home or come to their office. For more information, go to: How to Make a Dog Vomit. Vomiting should never be induced if your pet is sedate or showing neurologic signs. Induction of vomiting to a dog without normal neurologic control can result in aspiration pneumonia.

You dog may be hospitalized and monitored for abnormalities in blood pressure and heart rate, body temperate, and for neurologic abnormalities.

Treatment is often dependent on your dog symptoms. For example, for dogs that are agitated, sedation may be recommended. Drugs can be given to reduce high heart rates and blood pressure. Intravenous fluids may be given to help flush the drug out of your dog system. Anti-seizure medications may be given to treat tremors and seizures.


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Other Emergency Plans if Your Dog Eats Trazodone® 

If your dog ingests Trazodone® and you can't get in touch with your vet, call your closest emergency clinic. Another option is to call a poison control hotline for pets.

The two most common are:

  • Pet Poison Helpline, 855-764-7661(http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com). A $49 per incident fee applies.
  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline, (888) 426-4435 (https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control). A $65 consultation fee applies.

How to Prevent Drug Exposure 

Dogs are so good at getting into things, and it's easier to prevent a problem than it is to resolve it.

  • Store all medications out of the reach of pets. For example, some pets get on tables or can knock things over on coffee or end tables so avoid these area. Many pet owners store their medications on counters, tables and night tables.
  • Take extra special care with pill bottles and weekly pill holders. The shape of the containers and the sounds they make when shaken can mimic toys, tempting some dogs into playing with and chewing on them.
  • Weekly pill holders are especially dangerous because they open easily and expose dogs to a multitude of medications.
  • Avoid using plastic bags to store pills; if you are taking medications to work or otherwise traveling, keep them in your purse or pocket. Bags can be easily chewed through and ingested.
  • Purses are a hazard because we commonly carry our human mediations in our purses. Make sure you close your purse, hang up or secure in an area inaccessible to your pet.
  • Encourage houseguests to keep their luggage closed and medications secure from your pets. This may include keeping access closed to guest areas.
  • Help visitors secure their belongings out of the reach of pets. Ensure visitor's purses are closed and out of reach.

Sources:

  • Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Ettinger & Felman
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura and Twedt
  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline
  • Pet Poison Helpline
  • Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook, 8th Edition


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