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A Cautionary Note to Pet Owners
Last review: 08/12/10  J.R. Rogers
A Cautionary Note to Pet Owners
By J.R. Rogers

As our regular readers know, I offer up a lot of advice on dealing with arthritis in pets. This is a large part of my life.

However, from time to time I like to discuss other issues that deal with the safety and the well-being of your pet. Unfortunately, they are like children and are prone to getting themselves into harm's way often.

Some Recent Reports about Human Medications

I was reading some articles that indicated that pets are accidentally ingesting human mediations and some with fatal consequences. In these articles, the discussion focused on a variety of anti-depressants and other mild to severe anxiety disorders.

The issue is that these medications are sometimes left where a pet might get a bottle open or they have been just dropped on the floor. There are many scenarios where a pet might find themselves simply eating or swallowing them.


Pets are particularly at risk when ingesting these kinds of medications. It can rise to the level of a fatality that develops quickly. The thing is that symptoms can come on quickly and may not immediately alert the pet owner that this is the culprit.

The typical symptoms as reported are vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rates, fluctuating blood pressure, and so on. Now, given that these kinds of symptoms may come from a variety of sources, the real responsibility lies with the pet owner.

What You Should Do

If you take any such medications, take the time to make certain you handle them carefully and that they are secured where pets cannot find them. If you are using such medications and see these kinds of symptoms arise, get to the vet. These situations require immediate attention.

I also find it interesting that vets report that they have treated pets that were given medications by pet owners to “calm them.” I am not sure why any responsible pet owner would take that kind of a risk but I know it happens.

I once had a woman call me and ask if she might give her pet (who suffered from arthritis) a drug in this class. She thought it might help calm the pet down. Of course, the answer is a resounding “no” and that is the way it should be.

In my experience, pets suffering from arthritis conditions are better served using a high-quality liquid Glucosamine, reasonable exercise, and a good diet. I have never personally seen any who need an anti-anxiety or depression medication. They just want their pain to ease.

A little common sense can go a long ways here.

See you next time.