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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16316
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My dog has eaten a pack of paracetaol, what should we do??

Customer Question

My dog has eaten a pack of paracetaol, what should we do??
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.


How long ago?

What strength (milligrams) were the tablets?

How many were in the pack?

How much does Berry weigh?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Within the last 2-3 hours


500milligram


 


she has eaten 2 and 1 is broken up?


 

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Fran,

If this much time has already passed, then we have to consider that we are past the time frame for inducing vomiting and will need to turn to limiting absorption and supportive care.

Since I don't see any mention of her weight in your reply, can you let me know what her weight is (so I can appreciate our potential for adverse signs)?

Does she have any ongoing health issues at the moment?

 

Or is she on any meds?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


No she has no ongoing health issues and is on no medications she is pretty sturdy not sure of her exact weight? are paracetamol dangerous to dogs??

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you again Fran,

An exact weight was not necessary, I was just trying to appreciate how severe the dose is and whether we'd be likely to see serious life threatening side effects of this drug. The reason why I was concerned is because while small doses are not toxic to dogs, larger doses can cause body tremors, weakness, increased heart and breathing rates, stomach ulcers/perforation, GI upset (vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss), kidney damage, serious life threatening damage to the liver, and can bind red blood cells so that they cannot carry oxygen (causing the animal to essentially suffocate). So, in short, paracetamol can be very dangerous for our pets.

Now as I noted before 2-3 hours post ingestion will be too late to really get any benefit from inducing vomiting. Furthermore, if she has had ~1000-1250mg and we assumed that we weight was at least 25kg, then we can appreciate that she has had a dose that is higher then what we would consider safe for a dog. This means that we need to try to limit her risk of adverse signs and start supportive care for her.

Now in regards XXXXX XXXXX absorption, you do want to consider treating her with activated charcoal (LINK). This is available from the pharmacy or your vets and it is used to bind any remaining material in his stomach. For activated charcoal, we tend to give 4 grams per pound is given every 8 hrs for the next 24 hours or so. This can be mixed with food to feed or with water to give via syringe (do note that it stains, so keep it away from white carpets/clothes). As it works to bind the non-absorbed tablet material, it would just limit what may still be left in the stomach.

Further to this, since we often see GI upset (ie vomiting, diarrhoea) with this type of ingestion, you can try and keep her stomach settled. In regards XXXXX XXXXX consider offering a light diet option for a few days. Examples of an easily digestible diet include cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg, or meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder). We would tend to offer these as small, frequent meals over the next few days to keep her stomach settled.

Further to this, we can also cover her with an antacid to keep her stomach as settled as possible and offset the risk of stomach ulcers. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to use are Pepcid (More Info/ Dose) or Zantac (More Info/Dose). These are usually given 20 minutes before offering food (to allow absorption) and of course you want to double check with your vet if your wee one has a pre-existing condition or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Overall, Paracetamol can be dangerous for dogs. The dose she has taken is quite large and we would be worried about the potential for side effects. While it is unlikely to be a fatal dose, we could quite possibly see any of the adverse effects I have noted. Therefore, at this stage, activated charcoal would be indicated, alongside close monitoring, and a light diet. If you see any of the above signs, then she will need to be seen by her vet for assessment and further treatment.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your help, we will use the advise and treat accordingly, oh and make sure all tablets are kept out of her reach!!!

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

You are very welcome, Fran.

I absolutely agree that tablets needs to be kept out of reach, since Labradors often are keen to help themselves to anything they can get their paws on.

All the best,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

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