Pet safety is a top priority for every responsible pet owner. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and one common concern we often hear about is the ingestion of anti-depressant tablets by dogs. Unlike cats, who are picky eaters, dogs are more likely to consume something they find on the floor or around the house. So, what should you do if you suspect your dog has ingested anti-depressants?
The Two Main Causes of Anti-Depressant Poisoning in Pets
There are generally two reasons why pets may suffer from anti-depressant poisoning:
Accidental ingestion – Your pet may eat your own medication that you dropped or left within their reach at home.
Accidental overdose – Your pet may have been prescribed an anti-depressant for a behavioral issue, but due to human error, they receive an incorrect dosage.
It’s crucial to note that many anti-depressants are not intended for veterinary use. Therefore, consulting a veterinary specialist before administering any human medication to your pet is essential. Furthermore, the recommended dosage for humans often differs significantly from that for pets. Human tablets can be highly toxic to small dogs and cats, particularly when multiple tablets are ingested.
The Most Common Types of Anti-Depressants
Anti-depressants primarily fall into three categories:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – These include well-known medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Cipramil), and sertraline (Lustral or Zoloft).
Serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – Examples of SNRIs are duloxetine and venlafaxine.
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) – Nortriptyline is a common TCA.
Identifying Anti-Depressant Poisoning in Dogs and Cats
The signs of anti-depressant poisoning vary depending on the amount ingested. Within a couple of hours after ingestion, your dog may start vomiting or become agitated. You may also notice behavioral changes, such as your usually cheerful dog becoming quieter or vocalizing more. Other symptoms include shivering, disorientation, sensitivity to sound or light, gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, and changes in breathing, heart rate, and temperature.
Steps to Take When Your Pet Eats Anti-Depressant Tablets
If your pet consumes anti-depressant tablets, it’s important to act promptly. Try to determine the number of tablets consumed, the exact type and strength of the anti-depressant, and your pet’s weight. In some cases, treatment may not be necessary if the ingestion was minimal, especially for larger dogs. However, to be certain, contacting Animal PoisonLine, a trusted resource with a comprehensive database of similar cases, can provide clarity on whether a visit to the vet is required. Most pets recover from anti-depressant poisoning without any long-term consequences when proper treatment is administered.
Animal PoisonLine’s Top 3 Tips to Prevent Anti-Depressant Poisoning
NEVER give your pet a human anti-depressant tablet without proper authorization from a veterinarian. The dosage for pets is different, and it’s crucial to avoid unintentional poisoning.
Do not leave tablets in your handbag or anywhere easily accessible to your pet. Secure medication in designated areas.
If you suspect your pet has ingested anti-depressant tablets, contact Animal PoisonLine or your local vet immediately. Prompt action significantly increases the chances of a positive outcome.
If you are concerned about your pet ingesting something harmful or being exposed to dangerous substances, please reach out to the Animal PoisonLine at 01202 509 000 for expert advice on the next steps to take. If any signs of poisoning become apparent, taking your pet to a local veterinary practice as soon as possible is advisable. Remember, the sooner they receive treatment, the better their chances of recovery.
For more information about pet care and safety, visit Katten TrimSalon, where you’ll find a wealth of resources to help you keep your furry friends healthy and happy.
Note: The content of this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional veterinary advice. Always consult with a qualified veterinarian regarding your pet’s health and well-being.