Gabriel, Grills & Associates

The caring compassionate Veterinary practice serving the South Hams

Beware of home medication harming your pets - a true story

library picture of Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, in case you had not seen one before

Ben, a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, nearly dies from ibuprofen tablets

Reference: Ben Dawbin intoxication with ibuprofen Ben is a 9-month old male Rhodesian Ridgeback dog belonging to Mr. Dawbin, on the evening of the 19th of November, the owner had gone out with his father leaving Ben at home. Unfortunately whilst his owner was away, Ben being a young dog got into mischief and managed to find a plastic pot containing approximately 20 adult strength ibuprofen tablets and decided the only thing to do was eat the lot.

When Mr. Dawbin returned home, at about 11 pm, it was to find Ben the worse for wear, he had vomited several times, was weak and wobbly on his back legs. Ben was immediately brought into Filham Park for emergency treatment. Ibuprofen is very toxic when overdosed causing stomach ulceration, kidney failure and neurological problems. Over the next couple of hours Ray Male and myself gave Ben lots of activated charcoal by mouth to try and reduce the absorption of ibuprofen, oral zantac to reduce the risk of stomach ulceration and large volumes of intravenous fluids to try and protect his kidneys. During this time Ben became comatosed and we expected him not to recover.

Ray who was the nurse on duty examined Ben several times during the night, and he in a state of semi-consciousness most of the time. Fortunately he was still alive the following morning, the oral treatments were repeated. Over the next 48 hours Ben made a full recovery, and was soon eating normally and showing no signs of stomach upsets. Blood tests later in the week showed that there was no lasting kidney damage. Several weeks later he is now completely fit and well and shows no signs of the previous problem.

The underlying point from this story is the relative danger of some medications that we have at home and even those stored in plastic containers high up on a work surface are not safe from some of our pets' curiosity.

Steve Grills

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