Why Cough and Cold Medicines are dangerous for our pets?

Sad Adorable Cat APL

"Oh no! My pet's been poisoned!"

With the dust settling after the hectic festive season, we’re all catching our breath again, if we can!  It is the cough and cold season and we may be reaching for cold and flu remedies to keep us going.  These may well help us to carry on regardless, but if our pets are exposed they could become unwell, and while one tablet might not seem much to us, given the generally much smaller size of our pets, this can constitute a big dose for them. The last thing that anyone wants to think when they are sick is “Oh no! My pet's been poisoned!”

Why are cough and cold remedies harmful to pets?

Most cough and cold remedies will contain a painkiller.  This is usually paracetamol, which can cause respiratory difficulties and harm the liver in our pets, particularly in cats, or ibuprofen, which can cause serious stomach upset or ulcers as well as kidney problems. 

They may also include a decongestant in these products, which may cause excitation and agitation, panting and racing heart rate as well as changes in blood pressure and increased body temperature.

What other remedies are harmful to our pets?

Some people find it helps to inhale essential oils (menthol, eucalyptus and camphor) to clear those stuffy noses and heads, but if your pets ingest essential oils these can be very irritating to the stomach.  They may develop vomiting and there is a risk of these types of products accidentally going into the lungs and causing breathing difficulties.

Animal PoisonLine Tips

So while we’re trying to make ourselves feel better, lets make sure our pets also stay safe by keeping all medicines out of their way.  Do not overestimate the security of a handbag, many pets get access to our medications by raiding bags!

If you are worried your pet has eaten anything they should not have, give Animal PoisonLine a call on 01202 509000 and one of our advisors will be able to assess the risk and advise you whether you need to take your pet to the vet.