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Owners advised to administer specialist pet drugs

Tuesday, 18th January 2011

Consumers should only give their animals specialist pet drugs and not use human medication to treat their pet, according to a vet.

Dr Ray Cahill, owner and operator of SeaPort Veterinary Hospital in Massachusetts, claimed that, although some drugs designed for humans may be suitable for pets, there are many pitfalls with such an approach.

He told the Lexington Minuteman: "Drugs that are safe for people are not necessarily safe for pets.

"Also, if the same drug can be safely used in both people and pets, the dose may vary widely, and the medical circumstances in which the drug may be considered safe to use must be carefully considered."

Dr Cahill added that homeowners should always contact their vet before giving their pets any medication as they can have adverse side effects.

For example, pain relief treatment Pepto Bismol contains aspirin, which, when given to dogs, can result in liver and kidney damage, especially if the animal is dehydrated.