The top 10 pills that could poison your petThese everyday people meds could kill your pet if you're not careful.
A huge chunk of the calls that pour into the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (ASPCA's) Animal Poison Control Center every year involve pets poisoned by people pills. About 40 percent of the animal poison control calls--25,000 cases--revolve around pets exposed to human medications.
"Pet exposures include pets eating dropped pills, owners giving the wrong medication to their pets, animals getting into pill cases or even breaking into cabinets," explains Tina Wismer, DVM, medical director at the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center. "Just like with children, always store your medication where your pets cannot reach it because, unlike children, dogs will chew right through those bottles and eat whatever is inside."
Most common pills involved with poison control call complaints:
Related: The best dogs for men
The pill: Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
The problem: Ibuprofen is the most common human medication ingested by pets, thanks in part to many brands' sweet outer coating. What seems like a sweet treat to your pet could cause stomach ulcers or even kidney failure in an animal.
The pill: Tramadol (Ultram)
The problem: This pill can be beneficial to pets, but only at doses carefully prescribed by a vet. Too much tramadol can cause sedation or agitation, wobbliness, disorientation, vomiting, tremors, and possibly seizures.
The pill: Alprazolam (Xanax)
The problem: The anti-anxiety and sleep aid prescription could cause lethargy and trouble walking for your pet, but sometimes pets suffer the reverse effect and become extremely agitated. Large doses of alprazolam could send your pet's blood pressure dropping to dangerous levels or even cause collapse.
Related: Man's Best Workout Buddy
The pill: Adderall
The problem: Adderall is a combination of four different amphetamines and is used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Not meant for a pet, it causes racing heartbeat, high body temperature, hyperactivity, tremors, and seizures in animals.
The pill: Zolpidem (Ambien)
The problem: Ambien helps people sleep, so they often set it out by their bed, where pets routinely swipe pills off of owners' nightstands. Zolpidem may make cats wobbly and sleepy, but most pets become very agitated and develop elevated heart rates.
The pill: Clonazepam (Klonopin)
The problem: Used as an anticonvulsant, anti-anxiety drug, or sleep aid for people, clonazepam causes low blood pressure, fatigue, trouble walking, or collapse in pets.
The pill: Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
The problem: This popular painkiller may cause liver damage or red blood cell damage that could deprive your pet of the oxygen needed to live.
Related: 3 ways pets help your health
The pill: Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
The problem: This over-the-counter pain reliever may cause ulcers or kidney failure in dogs and cats.
The pill: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) is prescribed as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety agent.
The problem: When ingested by pets, duloxetine can cause agitation, vocalization, tremors, and seizures.
The pill: Venlafaxine (Effexor)
The problem: For reasons veterinarians still don't understand, cats love to eat these antidepressant capsules.
Top Tips for Protecting Your Pets
Always keep human medications away from pets unless you are specifically instructed by a veterinarian to give the medication.
Do not leave pills sitting on a counter or anyplace a pet can get to them.
Do not leave pill bottles within reach of pets.
Make sure pets aren't in the room when you're taking pills. "Dogs especially will devour anything that hits the floor, so taking pills in the bathroom or behind closed doors is the best way to avoid accidental exposure," Dr. Wismer says.
Always contact your veterinarian if your pet has ingested any medication not prescribed for them.
Never give your medication (or any medications prescribed for a two-legged family member) to your pet without first consulting a veterinarian.
For more information, check out Prevent Pet poisonings: Eliminate the 10 biggest pet threats in your home.
Photo: David Young-Wolff/Getty Images
pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers
Not many leading ladies have four legs, lots of hair and, well, dog breath. But that hasn’t stopped Chris Naka from posing alongside office pooch Wrigley in a series of pictures recreating iconic scenes from romantic movies. Naka, 30, told Today that the fun began when he and his creative coworkers at the Blue Man Group in Chicago decided to use the last few minutes of their lunch break to pose their boss’ dog with him in a scene from Titanic. And an idea was born. “Someone printed a bunch of our early pictures, posted them in the green room, and folks from all over the theater started sending emails with movie suggestions,” he said. Check out some of their funny (and bizarre) pictures here.
We talked to 122 veterinary professionals and got their take on which canines are the smartest of them all.
This year, Animal Planet is pulling out all the stops for Puppy Bowl X. The tenth-anniversary extravaganza promises penguin cheerleaders, canine first responders singing the National Anthem, and special appearances by Lil Bub and Keyboard Cat, who will be performing a piano-filled rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” during the kitten halftime show. Best of all, continuing the tradition of showcasing adoptable pets, all the puppy players are up for adoption or have already found forever families. We’re hoping that the pups are watching themselves on TV from the comfort of their new homes. The main event starts at 3 p.m. EST on February 2 on Animal Planet. As you wait for the most anticipated event of the season, check out the starting lineup of some of our favorite Puppy Bowl players. And be sure to head to the Animal Planet site later this month to create your own Puppy Bowl fantasy league. Out of 11 all-star puppies, participants will be able to pick a fantasy team of three players.
Walter the otter is settling into his new home
We recently listed the top five smartest dog breeds as chosen by veterinary professionals, and, unsurprisingly, our readers were quick to comment on other breeds that show enormous intelligence. Now we're sharing another result from that survey of 122 veterinary professionals. We aren't going to say "least intelligent" because all dogs have their own kind of genius, right? But we will say that in the opinion of the surveyed veterinary professionals, the breeds named here aren't necessarily known for their cleverness even if they are known for having many wonderful characteristics. Of course, please know that in no way are we saying these dogs aren't smart or aren't trainable. They just might not keep up with the Border Collie in their obedience class. And that's OK — whether our pets sit at the front of the class or flunk out of puppy school, we love them just the same.
Typically, cats don't rush up and bombard you with kisses like some dogs, but many do display genuine friendliness. Happy-to-be-with-you cats range from the demure lap lounger to the chatty feline who escorts you from room to room. Vetstreet shines the spotlight on nine feline breeds with stellar reputations for thoroughly enjoying the company of their favorite people.
Do you find it hard to sit still? Would you rather spend your time running and playing and working outdoors instead of lounging at home on the couch? If so, you may have met your match in these breeds. We polled 122 veterinary experts to get their opinions on which dog breeds are the most energetic. Here are the five that received the most votes!
Are cats an acquired taste?