Heineken the 6 year old terrier’s owners had been out and returned home to find a chewed up packet of Ibuprofen anti-inflammatory tablets.
Ibuprofen and similar drugs such as Paracetamol can cause kidney and liver damage, gastrointestinal bleeding and anaemia when taken in large amounts. Cats in particular are very sensitive to these drugs. Sometimes overdosing can even be fatal.
Heineken was placed onto intravenous fluids and vomiting was induced. There were no tablets seen in his vomit. This means that the tablets had most likely already left the stomach and entered the small intestine, and started to become adsorbed. To stop further absorption of the toxic drug, activated charcoal was given to Heineken, mixed with a mild laxative. A full blood profile was taken to assess the severity of liver and kidney damage.
Heineken was sent to the Animal Accident & Emergency Centre for overnight monitoring. After two days of hospitalisation, Heineken had made a full recovery and his blood results showed no evidence of any long-term effects.
Heineken’s case highlights three important issues:
1) It is very important to keep all human medications, both prescription and non- prescription, well out of reach of your pets.
2) Human medications are generally dosed for the average weight range for a 70kg person, therefore they are much stronger than animal medications
3) If you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic, you need to get him to the vet as soon as possible. The vet can usually induce vomiting within 2 hours of ingestion.