Common Human Medications and Products That Are Toxic to Pets 

As pet owners, it’s important to be aware of everyday substances in our homes that can be harmful to our pets if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Lets have a look at four of them: 

5-Fluorouracil 5-FU Cream

5-Fluorouracil is a medication used in humans to treat certain types of cancer. It is available in various forms, including creams and injections. 

If ingested by pets, even just a small amount of this cream can be toxic, leading to severe seizures that commonly result in death.  

Ventolin Puffers 

Ventolin puffers are used to help people with asthma and other breathing problems. 

Ventolin can cause serious heart problems in pets. Symptoms of exposure include a rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, tremors and even paralysis. 

Nicotine Products

Nicotine is found in cigarettes, e-cigarettes, nicotine gum, and patches. 

Nicotine is highly toxic to pets. Ingestion can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, heart problems, tremors, seizures, coma and even death. 

Tea Tree Oil 

Tea tree oil is a natural oil used in many skincare products and household cleaners. 

In small concentrations (.1% to 1%), tea tree oil is considered to be safe for cats and dogs, however stronger concentrations can cause severe toxicity. 

Tea tree oil contains compounds that pets cannot process efficiently. Symptoms of toxicity include severe weakness, paralysis, tremors, seizures or coma. 

What to Do if Your Pet is Exposed ?

If you suspect your pet has come into contact with any of these substances, seek immediate veterinary care. Quick action is crucial for a positive outcome. Here are general steps to take: 

  1. Contact your veterinarian immediately for advice and inform them of the suspected toxin.
  2. Follow your vet’s instructions, which may include inducing vomiting or bringing your pet in for emergency treatment.
  3. Do not attempt home remedies without professional guidance, as this can sometimes worsen the situation.

Keeping Your Pets Safe 

To protect your pets, always store medications and potentially toxic products out of their reach. If you suspect your pet has been exposed to any of these substances, don’t hesitate to seek veterinary help immediately. Quick action can save your pet’s life. 

For more information or in case of an emergency, please contact the Animal Referral and Emergency Centre. We are here to help ensure the health and safety of your pets. 



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