Help! My Dog Just Ate My Medication!

Dad was looking everywhere for his pills. Each day at lunchtime, he would set them out very carefully, one at a time, checking his main medication list as he went. When he was finished, there was a tidy little pile of all sorts of shapes and colors. This day, after setting out all the pills on the kitchen table, he got up to get a class of milk to wash down the medication while he gagged and cursed. My father did not go easily into old age. He found every single type of medication offensive and worthy of some level of profanity. Pills were particularly bad; requiring loud and enthusiastic gagging.

However, this day, as I said, his pills had gone missing from their spot on the kitchen table when he returned with his milk. He checked all around the table, the chair, on the floor, in his pockets, and finally asking if anyone had seen them. He had just gotten to the age where he didn't quite trust his memory. He was pretty sure the pills had been there but not completely sure. Asking us was a real indication of how distressed he was. It was admitting to the family that he might not be all that he had been. It cost him.

Well, none of us had done anything with them.  We helped look under the table and chairs.  No joy.  Some of the lids were off the bottles to indicate that he had gotten out the medication.  As time passed, the surer he got.  The pills had disappeared. 

We were about to give up when we caught site of Skippy.  Skippy was my sister's 13 inch beagle that we were babysitting while her family went on vacation.  He had that look.  That look that told us he'd done something and he kind of thought we might figure it out.  All dog owners know that look.  Parents of small children know it as well.  They're very quiet, make themselves very small, and try to give the impression that you could read from the light coming off their halo.

Well there was no question now, Skippy must've eaten the pills.  He had stolen a few things off the kitchen table over the last week or so.  Standard behavior for visiting canine.  Our dogs are no angels either.

Big conversation.  If he had taken the pills, would they hurt him?  We went over Dad's medication list; blood pressure, heart rhythm, cholesterol, anxiety, kidney pills, potassium, and something for water retention.  The dosages were all for a 200 pound man.  A quick call to the veterinarian confirmed our worst fears.  If Skippy had eaten them then he was in big trouble.  Death by poisoning would come on pretty quickly.

We could rush down to the vet's office to have his stomach pumped or try to induce vomiting. Every minute counted as he'd had the pills in the system for about 20 minutes.  I couldn't imagine what would be involved in making a beagle vomit but that seemed the quickest option.  Luckily, a friend at the house was both a nurse and a dog lover.  Following the veterinarian's instructions, we forced a half a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide down Skippy's throat.

He took the peroxide just fine. He looked at us funny. I'm sure he didn't understand why he was sitting in the sink and drinking stuff full of bubbles. All of a sudden, the expression on his little doggie face got really odd and out came the entire contents of his stomach. Well, not all at once. It took him three or four tries. There, amidst some really gross chunky stuff were all Dad's pills-every single one of them. They weren't even partially digested. Had they been then Skippy would've been a goner.

We took this lesson to heart. Just because there were no small children about didn't mean we could be careless with the prescriptions. Also, a little knowledge about poison control in animals can be very useful.

Skippy, I'm happy to report, suffered no long-term effects. He spent the rest of the day sleeping and was back to himself the following morning.

Check the bottom of the hub for some links to sites with information about the symptoms and treatment of poisoning in dogs.

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Comments 3 comments

cally2 profile image

cally2 6 years ago from Paraparaumu, New Zealand

Loved your story. I have a large mix breed dog who steals bread but leaves the steak defrosting next to it. Go figure.


Georgina_writes profile image

Georgina_writes 6 years ago from Dartmoor

My dog ate a silicon sachet, the sort that is put into products to absorb the damp. Luckily he's still with us! Why do they do this stuff!


pinkdaisy profile image

pinkdaisy 6 years ago from Canada

Wow! This is great information...Thanks for sharing this.

This could happen so easily, as dogs get into everything.

Now I know what to do if my dog eats my medication :)

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