What to do when your dog overdoses

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It was a close call for a little pooch named Bella, who helped herself to a midnight snack of dangerous prescription meds.  Bella’s veterinarian, Dr. Rose Lemarie says, “She obviously got a large enough dose to really cause her some problems last night, but it wasn’t large enough to kill her.”

The 11 month old Yorkshire terrier was unresponsive when she arrived at Southeast Veterinary Specialists.  It wasn’t the first time Bella had gotten into her owner’s pills.  However, Dr. Lemarie says the outlook is hopeful.  “When she came in last night, she couldn’t lift her head, her eyes were closed, she was pretty much out of it.  So now, she’s responsive, looking around, wiggling her ears, moving her eyes, so she’s done very, very well.”

Treatment for a dog is just like treatment for a human.  The veterinarian may use something like apamorphine.  Just touching it will cause the patient to vomit and get those toxins out of the system.  Dr. Lemarie says, “If it’s too late and a significant amount has already been absorbed, it depends on what it is.  Sometimes we have antidotes and things that we can use to reverse the toxin and other times you just have to treat them supportively until it wears off.”

That’s exactly what Dr. Lemarie did with Bella.  She administered medications to increase contraction of her heart and the rate of contraction as well.  “What we were worried about with her last night was her ability to breath and her respiratory muscles, because muscle relaxants are not picky about which muscles they choose to relax.”

To keep your pooch safe, Dr. Lemarie says you should keep your meds out of reach of your four legged friends.  While child-proof caps may work for children, they won’t stop Fido.  If your furry one does pop some pills, go to the vet immediately and bring the bottle in tow.  The more information they have, the better treatment they can give.