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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Medicine In Small Dose Deadly To Thousands Of Pets

Vets sometimes treat pets with people medications, but those drugs can kill four-legged consumers.

Last year, 89,000 of the 130,000 animal poisoning emergencies handled by the ASPCA's national poison control center were related to pets eating human medications.

"One of the most common misconceptions is that human medications are as helpful to pets as they can be to humans," explains Dana Farbman, senior manager of the poison control center at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "In fact, human drugs can be quite harmful, even deadly, to pets depending on the circumstance of exposure."

Just one extra-strength acetaminophen tablet (found in brands such as Tylenol) can kill an average-sized cat.

Recently, the poison control center released a top 10 list of the most common dangers based on the frequency of calls. Human painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements topped the list.


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