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Pet guardians must protect animals from medicine cabinets

A recent report from the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University suggests that there are many cases of accidental pet poisoning in the United States. These incidents may happen when a pet owner gives their ill dog or cat human medicine, or when a dog or cat has access to medicine that has not been properly locked away.

"One regular strength tablet of acetaminophen may cause damage to a cat’s red blood cells, which limits their ability to carry oxygen," said Dr. Carolynn MacAllister, a veterinarian at the University. "In dogs, acetaminophen can lead to liver problems, and if consumed in large doses, red blood cell damage."

MacAllister urges all pet owners to make sure their pets aren’t able to gain access to medicine cabinets. This can be done by locking the space, or installing a pet-proof latch. Additionally, pet parents should never give their animals human medication without direct recommendation and supervision of a medically trained veterinarian.

According to a recent report from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), human medications, specifically acetaminophen, antidepressants and ADHD medications, were placed at the top of the list of pet toxins for the third year in a row.
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