Keeping your pets safe in cold and flu season

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 10:49am

This time of year, we're making a lot of trips to the pharmacy for that extra bottle of cold and flu medicine. However, that's potentially dangerous for one member of the family...your pet. The ASPCA's poison control hotline gets about 90,000 calls every year from owners whose pets have ingested human medication.

Dr. Karen Gordon of North Shreveport Animal Hosptial says she sees the same problem. "More than I would like. A lot of times it's not medicines that's toxic. I'm afraid that a lot of times we see it when it's too late," she said. That harm can come in surprisingly small doses. One tablet of Tylenol is enough to shut down a cat's live, Dr. Gordon said.

So how do these pills make our pets so sick? Dr. Gordon points to a number of ingredients that are tailored to help the human body, but can cause amplified heart rate and seizures in dogs and cats. That's why she recommends that if your animal does come into contact with human medication, always play it safe, and call for medical aid right away.

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