I had three phone calls this past week, all involving medications that the owner had GIVEN to their pet. No, they did not call us and ask, “Hey, what can I give my dog/cat at home for these symptoms?” They did not EVEN ask Dr. Google! I am not opposed to giving advice over the phone to my clients about my patients, especially if the problem is minor, and there is something at home that will do the trick. Most vets are this way – they want to help you and your pet. This blog post is about me (veterinarian) trying to help you (pet owner) and your pet.
- DO NOT EVER EVER EVER GIVE A CAT TYLENOL! Not even the “baby kind.” A client called to say her cat had vomited a couple of times that day. Yes, the cat was still eating, and no, did not have a fever. So Ms. Munchausen decided randomly to give the cat two droppers of Baby Tylenol. Did it help the vomiting? No. Can it cause a potentially fatal blood disorder in CATS? YES!!
- While many medications are used in both people and animals, THE DOSE HAS TO BE APPROPRIATE! I am sorry to be yelling, but what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working. The next client, owner of a 6 pound Yorkie, called to say her little guy was limping pretty badly. She really wanted to avoid coming in for an appointment that day, so she had given 2 adult size Ibuprofen tablets. Now puppy wasn’t feeling so great. So what else could she give at home? At this point, we recommended an exam with a veterinarian. “Well, he was fine at his last exam six months ago.” That may be true, but based on the medication administered at home, he may not be now.
- Lastly, just as with children, KEEP YOUR MEDICATIONS LOCKED AWAY SECURELY! The third case was a dog that had been confined in a bathroom, and managed to eat the contents of the medicine cabinet. Yes, the one over the sink, behind the mirror. While the dog did survive, she was very very ill and required hospitalization for several days.
So please, call your veterinarian BEFORE you administer any medication to your pet that they did not prescribe or recommend. It will save you money and worry. It will save me worry too.
As always, feel free to check out our website http://www.hrah.com for info about our hospital and staff.