A sick animal is one of the worst fears of any compassionate pet owner. While getting veterinary advice is always the best possible course of action, there may be times where you can’t get to your vet straight away to get the medication that your animal needs for immediate relief. It may surprise you to learn that there are some human medications that can be used with sick animals.

Before you head to your medicine cabinet, it is essential for you to consult with your veterinarian before administering any sort of drug. Even those medications which are considered safe to be used in pets will almost certainly need to be delivered at a dramatically different dosage for them to be effective. Overdosing your pet or administering even the smallest amount of an unsafe drug could prove extremely dangerous or even fatal.

Below is a list of some of the common household medications that you might possibly be able to use to alleviate your pet’s symptoms before you can get him to our veterinarian. Again, we stress that you must seek the advice of a vet before administration.

Pepcid and other over-the-counter acid medications for pets

Used for battling heartburn caused by stomach acid, Pepcid and similar drugs can also be used to help prevent/treat acid reflux symptoms in your pet. Vets use this type of medication to help with inflammation of the lining of the stomach and treat ulcers.

Be aware that if your pet is vomiting in addition to showing acid reflux symptoms, there is probably an underlying problem such as swallowing poison or a parasite infestation that the Pepcid won’t help resolve.

Benadryl, Dramamine and other antihistamines for pets

Pets are just as likely to suffer from allergic reactions as we are, and in some cases, it may be necessary to administer medication before you can get your pet seen by a professional. Benadryl is just one of many antihistamines that can help with the varying symptoms of an allergic reaction, from skin irritation and swelling to intense itching, a runny nose or watering eyes.

Just note that if your pet is experiencing a serious allergic reaction to something – vomiting, breathing problems, hives across their body – a dose of antihistamine will probably not help and a trip to the emergency vet is in order.

Saline Drops for pets

Every good medicine cabinet has saline drops on standby. With multiple uses in both humans and pets, saline drops can be used to help relieve animal conjunctivitis or any other type of eye irritation, as well as clear the airways of congested felines.

Neosporin for pets

Antibiotic ointment is always useful as it can be placed onto all sorts of superficial wounds and insect bites. Just be sure to cover the area with a bandage until you can get it checked by a vet. Your pet may want to lick the ointment off and this could cause him to become sick.

Joint Supplements for pets

As your pet gets older, he may start to suffer from problems with his joints. These tend to occur due to the natural reduction in the amount of collagen in his body, a substance than enables smooth movement of the ligaments and tendons. Arthritis and other joint problems are common in senior animals, but supplements containing Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help reduce the pain cause by these conditions.

If your pet is unwell or in pain, always consult with your usual or out-of-hours veterinarian before administering medications. We will be able to give you experienced and professional advice on whether human medication can be used until we can see your pet first hand. Dealing with a pet emergency? Call Geist Pet Wellness Clinic today at 317-434-1900.

Your pets deserve the best veterinary care possible