If your pet seems to be feeling a bit under the weather, you might think that you have something in your medicine cabinet to help him or her feel better. In some cases, human medications are acceptable for pets, but this is not always the case. Administering human medication to your four-legged friend should only be done under the advice of a veterinarian. These are the main reasons why.
Some Medications are Toxic for Pets
Even though veterinarians do sometimes prescribe or recommend human medications -- such as antibiotics, which may be the same type of antibiotic that you take when you're sick -- you should know that not all human medications are safe for pets. For example, many of the over-the-counter pain medications that humans take can be toxic for your dog and can result in serious side effects -- or even death. You might be tempted to give Fido an ibuprofen for its pain, but this isn't a good idea, and your good intentions could cause serious problems.
It Can Be Tough to Give the Right Dosage
Even when administering human medications that are safe for dogs, it can be tough to give the right dosage. You generally have to be pretty precise about the amount that you give -- since many pets are a lot smaller and weigh a lot less than humans, and since their bodies can be more sensitive to things, giving even a little bit too much can make your pet sick or can be lethal. If you do end up giving your pet human medication, it is best to do so when your veterinarian has taken an accurate weight of your pet and when he or she has given strict instructions about how much to administer.
Your Pet May Need Immediate Medical Attention
Something that seems relatively simple can be the sign of a much more serious health condition. Your pet cannot tell you that it is really sick, and even minor symptoms like vomiting can be the sign of a serious health condition that you need to be aware of. If your pet is showing symptoms of illness, it is best not to waste time trying to treat it yourself. Even if the medication that you give does not cause harm to your pet, the time that you have taken to give the medication and wait for results could be time that you didn't have to waste. The best thing to do if your pet is sick is to take it to a vet like one from Pet Medical Center – Full Service Veterinary Care-- pronto.