We often have people call up for advice when their pets have consumed medications intended for humans. Some of the more common ones that we are asked about are contraceptive pills, ibuprofen and paracetamol tablets. In future we may need to add vitamin D to this list.

Vitamin D

Recently it was announced that Dovonex, a topical psoriasis treatment, is to be made available over the counter at pharmacies. This is a cream that contains a form of vitamin D that dogs are very sensitive to. Even very small quantities when ingested can cause significant problems, and exposure can be either by chewing the tube or licking the cream off their owner’s skin.

In the early stages, exposure to this drug causes an increase in thirst, followed by severe vomiting and diarrhoea. The dog may become depressed and ultimately develop kidney failure and severe stomach ulcers. Unfortunately, there is no specific antidote, and treatment is not always successful, so the best thing is to keep all your medications well out of the reach of your pets.

If you do use this medication, it’s very important that you don’t allow your dog to lick the treated areas, and that you keep it well out of their way at all times.

Keep Out Of Reach Of Dogs

All medicines sold in the UK have a label that says ‘Keep Out of Reach of Children’. They should also say ‘Keep Out of Reach of Dogs’. Medicine packages are designed to be child proof, but unfortunately this doesn’t mean dog proof. Dogs will happily chew up paper packets, plastic blisters and bottles, and consume all the contents, so please keep all your medicines, even ones bought over the counter, well away from your pets.