Dangers & Treatment Options for Cold & Flu Medications

Dangers & Treatment Options for Cold & Flu Medications

When colds and flu symptoms hit, many people routinely take over-the-counter medications without thinking how they may affect their pets—and that means more animals may end up in your waiting room.

There’s no one easy answer for human medication ingestions, and there are many ingredients to keep track of, so the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center created this library of cold and flu medication toxicities and treatments.

COUGH DROPS

Pets will often suck down the cough drops their owners have handy. For the most part, cough drops aren’t as serious as some other flu and cold medications, but there are a few things to watch out for.

PSEUDOEPHEDRINE

While cold and flu medications commonly contain multiple ingredients, pseudoephedrine is one that often causes serious problems.

DEXTROMETHORPHAN

Dextromethorphan is a common ingredient in over-the-counter cold, congestion, and flu medications, and pets who ingest it may need veterinary care.

NSAIDS

GI upset, GI ulceration, and acute renal injury are classic signs of acute NSAID toxicity—but did you know all NSAIDs are not created equal?

IBUPROFEN

The gastrointestinal ulceration and acute renal failure effects of ibuprofen are well known, but high doses of ibuprofen can also cause CNS signs as well.

ANTIBIOTICS

There are three main antibiotics or classes of antibiotics that can cause seizure so check them out, because in seizure cases antibiotics can often be overlooked.

EYE DROPS

Colds and flu can mean red eyes, and people often keep eye drops in easily accessible places. What would you do with a patient who had ingested eye drops?