Dogs are curious, and their curiosity can land them in neck-deep trouble. They smell everything through their mouths and noses. It leads them to put things right into their mouth without even realizing how harmful some of the edibles may be for them.
Have you ever gone through the dreadful experience of your dog eating medicines? The danger heightens when they get their hands on medicines that could be toxic for them. Which medicine was it? Tums, ibuprofen, or was it Adderall, the ADHD medicine, considered toxic for dogs?
If you have ADHD(Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) kids at home, your dogs will get easy access to these medicines and will take no time to pop the pills into their mouths. Read on to learn the effects of Adderall ingestion on your dogs.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is one of the significant medicines to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in kids between 6 and 12 years of age, those in their adolescence, and even adults. This one is a combination drug comprising dextroamphetamine and amphetamine.
These two active ingredients help to stimulate the nervous system. Therefore it increases one’s ability to remain focused. It even helps them pay attention and lessen impulsive behavior. It is even used in treating narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder. It’s a disorder where people struggle to remain awake throughout the day.
Symptoms of Adderall Toxicity in Dogs
Before discussing Adderall toxicity in dogs, it is important to know if Adderall is safe for dogs. The simple and the best possible answer is NO. It isn’t. Adderall is good for humans and helps stimulate their brains.
The first effect of these pills on your puppy is an increased activity level. You could see your dog moving in circles, pacing, or finding it difficult to sit in one place. If your dog eats these pills by mistake, it will hurt them.
With time the symptoms may worsen. Medicine could affect your dog’s cardiovascular, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems.
The medicine’s effect on your dog depends on how much he ingested and the specific formulation.
The symptoms could show up as early as 15 minutes from the ingestion. It may appear a little later as well. It takes 24-72 hours for the symptoms to go away completely. When left untreated for long, the symptoms might worsen and even prove life-threatening.
Some of the common symptoms of Adderall toxicity seen in dogs include:
- Excessive drooling
- Panting uncontrollably
- Hyperactive behavior
- Tremors (displayed in the form of shaking of the head from one side to another)
- Increased heart rate
- Aggressive behavior
- Dilated pupils
All dogs may not have the same symptoms. They vary according to the amount of Adderall ingested. It will also depend on the dog’s weight and the intoxication’s severity. Your dog may have mild or moderate toxicity if you are lucky enough. But, if your dog has eaten one full bottle of the pill or a high dosage of it, then it could be a case of severe toxicity.
What to Do if Your Dog Ate Adderall?
Seeing the bottle of Adderall lying on the ground with the pills scattered elsewhere and some in your dog’s mouth could be frightening. Yet, it is essential to keep calm during the crisis and understand the whole situation.
When you know what happened, how much of the pill your dog ingested, and so on, you’ll be in a better position to answer the vet. It will speed up the treatment and help your dog recover soon.
1. Take The Bottle Away
When you learn that your dog has eaten Adderall, ensure he doesn’t eat more of it. If you see the bottle lying on the ground with pills scattered all over, clean the mess as soon as possible. While doing this, you can keep your dog in a separate room so he doesn’t eat more tablets.
2. Make a Note of the Minutest Details
It’s one of the most important things to do to ensure proper and speedy treatment. A lot depends on the information that you give the vet. You’ll need to be ready to answer the questions that your vet will mandatorily ask.
These include your dog’s weight, the number of pills he ate, the dosage, how long it has been since he ate it, and his symptoms. So, as you appease your dog and think of calling the vet, you must also be prepared to answer these questions.
3. Call the Vet
It should be among the first you must do upon discovering that your dog has eaten Adderall. Call the vet immediately and tell him about your dog’s condition. If your nearby vet isn’t available, take your dog to the nearest medical center. If you aren’t getting help from anywhere and it’s an emergency, call the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA) helpline at 888) 426-4435.
4. Go By the Directions Given By the Vet
The vet will listen to and understand your dog’s symptoms and guide you accordingly. If it hasn’t been two hours since your dog ingested the tablets, your vet could ask you to induce vomiting at home. Remember, you should never induce vomiting without a vet’s advice. It could be dangerous for your dog. If you have been asked to do so, follow the instructions given by your vet.
When you go to the vet, take the bottle from where your dog ate the medicine with you (if possible). It will give him a better understanding of the situation.
The vet will usually ask you to bring your dog over. He will check the dog’s symptoms closely and prescribe pressure medications to calm him. Your dog might even have to stay at a vet hospital if the symptoms aggravate.
If their body temperature elevates, treatment and therapies may be needed to normalize it.
The vet may collect your dog’s urine sample, electrolyte levels, and blood. In this way, he’ll be able to check the impact on the medicine of his organs. Prompt treatment reduces the risks of organ damage from the medicine. It’s rare, though.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Adderall Again?
If your dog has sailed through the crisis after eating Adderall this time, both of you have been extremely lucky. Luck might not favor you the next time, though.
So all you need to do is be more alert when you have such medicines at home.
1. Keep the Medicine Out Of Your Dog’s Reach
It’s mandatory, irrespective of the fact your dog ate Adderall or not. All medicines should be kept at a safe distance from dogs. It will help prevent any untoward incidents in the future.
You can lock them inside a cabinet or put in on a high shelf which will be difficult for your dog to reach. Also, when taking medicine, immediately put the bottle back in the cupboard. You must be extra vigilant about the tablet lying on the floor. Please pick them up right away and discard them.
2. Remember, It’s Medicine For Humans And Not For Dogs
Dogs suffer from ADHD as well, just like humans. Studies reveal that 12 to 15% of canines display impulsivity and hyperactivity, and 20% display inattention.
So, if you observe signs of ADHD in dogs and feel tempted to give them the medication you have or give your kid, you’ll be making a grave mistake then.
What’s good for you isn’t suitable for your dog. By giving Adderall, you won’t be able to reduce his hyperactivity. Rather, you’ll end up making matters miserable.
If you see symptoms of ADHD in your dog, get in touch with your vet, who may suggest ways to manage the condition.
3. Keep Your Dog Physically and Mentally Stimulated
What would you do when bored? You would do nothing constructive, right? Ditto for your dog, the only difference being that they wouldn’t be able to control their behavior as you do. The result could be that they’ll resort to destructive activities. Besides biting, whining, or barking, a bored dog could chew whatever they get their hands on.
It could be your shoes, furniture, or even medicines (if easily accessible to them). To minimize their boredom, ensure they get their daily dose of exercise. Besides taking them for walks and ample playtime outdoors, provide mental stimulation indoors.
4. Train Your Dog Well
Train your dogs to follow important commands like ‘No,’ ‘Stop,’ and ‘Leave’ when they are around 8-12 weeks old. Did you know these simple commands could be life-saving during times of crisis?
Say, you see your dog advancing toward a bottle of Adderall pills on the rack. You say a firm ‘No .’He follows your command and doesn’t touch the bottle. His aptness in following commands may save him and you from a disaster. It may not always happen, though.
What if your dog gets at the bottle in your absence? There’s little you can do then. Yet, command training is useful to dogs in many ways.
Can dogs die if they eat Adderall?
Yes, they can if they have ingested it in increased amounts or if there has been a delay in treatment. That’s why it is always advisable to seek a vet’s help at the earliest.
How much Adderall is too much for dogs?
Most of it depends on the dog’s weight. If a dog weighs up to 10 pounds, then consumption above 4.5 mg will be toxic. Small dogs like Poodle or Pug weighing between 11 and 25 lbs, a dosage of 50 mg or more will be toxic.
Medium breeds like Beagle and Scottish Terrier, weighing 26 to 40 lbs, could suffer from Adderall toxicity if they ingest more than 118 mg of Adderall.
The toxicity level is more than 186 mg for big dogs weighing 41 – 70 lbs. In the case of dogs with weights between 71-90 lbs weight and 91 -110 lbs, the toxicity dosage is above 323 mg and 414 mg, respectively.
It’s worth keeping in mind that you should always consult a vet, irrespective of your dog’s weight and toxicity level. That would be even if your small dog eats a full bottle or your big dog eats two to three tablets. The earlier you treat, the better the recovery chances.
Elena Gherman is a highly skilled and knowledgeable animal care expert. At the start of her career, she gained practical expertise with multiple animals. In addition to that, she works as a DVM veterinary editor for Joy Pet Products, which focuses on offering reliable information on pet health and wellbeing. She meticulously reviews each piece of writing before it is published to make sure pet owners get the most precise and updated information possible.