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Vet4Petz.com, your trusted source for pet health information.
Advice for sick or wounded dogs, cats, birds, other pets.

Pet Pharmacy:
Over The Counter (OTC) Medications

 

Tylenol - This seemingly safe drug used in humans for headaches and fever, can actually be deadly to your cat.  Cats have an unusual metabolism in their liver. When Tylenol is eaten, it is taken by the bloodstream to the liver.  In the cat, the liver metabolizes or breaks down Tylenol into separate components which are actually toxic to the cat.  In other species these components are further broken down by the liver into non toxic substances.  But the cat lacks the necessary enzymes to continue this breakdown process.  These end products of Tylenol breakdown are so toxic to the cat that death is the typical outcome.  The take home lesson then is to NEVER give Tylenol in any dose to your cat. Tylenol can however, be used for pain in the dog.  Check with your veterinarian whether you can safely use this drug for your dog.

Aspirin -  These are the most commonly used drugs today classified as NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and are used for pain relief, and sometimes relief of inflammation in both dogs and cats.  Once again, cats tend to metabolize (or break down) the aspirin products more slowly than dogs or humans, so dosage is usually done on an every other day basis in the cat.  As with any NSAID, stomach upset can be a commonly seen side effect, so discontinuing the drug if vomiting occurs is recommended.  Typically, your veterinarian may recommend buffered aspirin, or more effective, Ascriptin.  This form of aspirin contains maalox, which helps to coat the stomach lining, and prevent irritation associated with aspirin products.  Long term usage of aspirin, may also result in complications with the normal clotting of blood.  Therefore, discontinuation of all aspirin products prior to any surgery is highly recommended.

Pepto-Bismol -  Commonly recommended for our pets for stomach upset or diarrhea, Pepto-Bismol should only be used in the dog, as it can not be given daily to the cat.  Perhaps the one benefit of Pepto-Bismol, is that of coating the stomach, and perhaps alleviating some symptoms of nausea.  As for diarrhea, there seems to be little Pepto-Bismol can do.

Kaopectate - This too has been used in our pets for stomach upset or diarrhea.  Some veterinarians swear by its effect, yet to date, little has been shown to its effectiveness in clinical studies.  Recommended only for use in the dog.

Imodium AD - This anti-diarrhea medication is useful in both dogs and cats.  It seems to work better with small intestinal diarrhea, and is available in both tablet and liquid form.  Check with your veterinarian if your pet could take this drug, and at what dosage.

Pepcid AC -  Now available over-the-counter as 10mg tablets, Pepcid AC is a useful drug for vomiting in the dog.  Designed as an antacid, Pepcid AC decreases the acid secretion in the stomach, thereby alleviating associated discomfort and nausea.