Meds and Mutts: Keeping Your Pet Safe From Unused Prescriptions

Leftover prescription drugs can be a dangerous health hazard if they aren't handled carefully, and they can be deadly if picked up by your pet.

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 11:04 PM
Updated: Apr 28, 2018 11:18 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) On Saturday, thousands of people across the country will participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to safely dispose of their unused medications.

Leftover prescription drugs can be a dangerous health hazard if they aren't handled carefully, and they can be deadly if picked up by your pet.

“If it’s something that’s expired, we should really be disposing of that medication safely,” Kate KuKanich, Associate Professor at the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University said.

Whether they be human or animal prescriptions, loose pills and medications pose a threat to your pet.

“We want to make sure that we are only administering medication to our animals as well as to our family members that our doctors are currently prescribing,” Kukanich said.

Clearing out expired and unused medications in your home helps to keep your family healthy. KuKanich said animal medications should be disposed of the same way you would handle human prescriptions.

Pet prescriptions can be disposed of at prescription take backs along with other human medications. Veterinarians caution keeping all drugs out of reach of your pets or the consequences could be deadly.

Animal advocates like Gary Silverglat from M’Shoogy’s Animal Rescue recommend storing all medications in cabinets or drawers were pets can’t reach them.

“The best thing to do is to be really careful and keep everything locked up,” Silverglat said. “What might be harmless to you, might be deadly to your animals.”

Pets accidentally eating their owners medications is common, but Silvergat said pet parents should avoid taking matters into their own hands when it comes to their pets safety after ingesting a mystery medication.

“You don’t want to do something detrimental to the animal. Don’t do anything right there until you talk to a veterinarian and find out, because what you think might be good can be really harmful to your animal,” Silverglat said.

If you suspect your pet has ingested something harmful, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Hotline at (888) 426-4435 for 24/7 emergency assistance.

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A few areas of frost are possible this morning as temperatures have fallen into the mid 30s. Today temperatures will remain below average with highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s under mostly sunny skies. A few clouds will move back into the area tonight as temperatures dip down into the mid to lower 30s. Areas of frost will be possible again early Thursday morning. Conditions will stay relatively the same on Thursday with highs in the upper 50s under mostly sunny skies. Rain chances will move back into the area on Friday, mainly through the afternoon and evening keeping temperatures in the lower 50s. A few rain showers could linger through early Saturday morning before moving out of the area. Sunday looks to be a dry and mild day with temperatures remaining in the upper 50s. Temperatures will start to warm up on Monday with highs back in the low to mid 60s before a cold front moves through the area dropping temperatures back into the 50s on Tuesday.
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