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What is Adderall Toxicity?

Adderall is a drug found in human medicine to treat certain conditions.  It belongs to the drug classification known as amphetamines which happens to also include illegal drugs like crystal meth.  If your dog ingests this medication, it is a serious condition that must be treated as soon as possible.  Symptoms of toxicity can range from vomiting, diarrhea, and panting to something more severe such as aggression, seizures and elevated heart rate.  

If you did not witness your dog ingesting adderall and are unsure of the toxicity your dog is experiencing, diagnostic lab work will need to be performed.  Treatment will include hospitalization, fluids, decontamination, and administration of medications.  Prognosis of recovery will depend on how quickly you sought treatment for your dog, the amount he ingested, and how he responds to the treatments.

If your dog ingests any amount of adderall it is considered a medical emergency.  You need to get him to a veterinarian immediately.

Symptoms of Adderall Toxicity in Dogs

Symptoms of adderall toxicity in your dog may include but are not limited to:

  • Drooling 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Panting 
  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Sedation
  • Hypertension 
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Elevated heart rate 

The onset of your dog’s symptoms will vary depending on how much he ingested and his sensitivity to the medication.  

Types

Toxicity from adderall ingestion is considered moderate to severe.  This medication is classified as an amphetamine and is used for a variety of medical condition and illegal reasons.  Legal forms of this medication include prescription for ADD or ADHD while illegal drugs of this classification include crystal meth and ecstasy.

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Causes of Adderall Toxicity in Dogs

Amphetamines cause over-stimulation of the nervous system when absorbed by the body.  The typical body systems affected in your dog by toxicity of this medication includes the nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems.  If your dog is poisoned by adderall is typically accidental as a result of him being curious and getting into people’s medications.

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Diagnosis of Adderall Toxicity in Dogs

Your veterinarian will begin by performing a full physical exam on your dog.  She will take his vitals, check his awareness and note any sensitivity anywhere in his body.  She will also want to collect a verbal history from you.  She will want to know when his symptoms started, how they have progressed, if you witnessed him ingesting anything or if you suspect he did, or anything else helpful in regards to his situation.    

If you find your dog was chewing on a bottle of medication before his symptoms began, be sure to bring the medication with you.  This will allow your veterinarian to know exactly what your pet ingested, the dosage and how many pills.  She will therefore be able to begin her treatment plan as soon as possible.  If you are unsure he ate any type of medication but suspect it, bring it will you to the veterinarian just in case.  

If your veterinarian is unsure of what is causing your dog’s symptoms, she will begin her diagnosis with blood work and additional lab work. A urine sample will be collected for a urinalysis.  This will give information on the health of your dog’s kidneys and bladder.  In regards to blood work, a complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will provide your veterinarian with general information on how your pet’s organs are functioning.  Dogs with adderall toxicity typically have high urine specific gravity and evidence of myoglobinuria.  Blood work may indicate if your dog is experiencing disseminated intravascular coagulopathy.  It will also indicate if your dog is experiencing any degree of renal failure or hypoglycemia.

Additional tests may include checking the electrolyte levels and the acid-base status within your dog’s body.  Amphetamine medication can be found present in the urine, blood and saliva.  If your veterinarian needs further diagnostics, she will perform them based on your dog’s symptoms.

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Treatment of Adderall Toxicity in Dogs

If your dog is experiencing toxicity from ingesting adderall, he will need immediate medical care.  Decontamination is ideal in cases of toxicity.  If it has not been too long, the veterinarian will attempt to induce vomiting to expel the drugs from your dog’s stomach.  If this is unsuccessful, she may choose to administer activated charcoal or some other form of absorbent to make the drug within his system unable to bind to the receptors within the body.  

He will also need supportive care until the drugs leave his system completely.  He will need to be hospitalized for treatment and monitoring of his situation.  An intravenous catheter will be placed in one of his front legs as soon as possible in order to begin administration of intravenous fluids.  The fluids will correct any degree of dehydration your dog is experiencing as well as correct any electrolyte imbalances.  The fluids will also support renal function and flush the toxin from his system quicker.  

If your dog is suffering hyperthermia, his intravenous fluids will be cool in order to lower his body temperature.  Your veterinarian will also place him in an area that is cool with fans on him and use cool water for baths.  If his body temperature remains elevated for too long, it can lead to a whole other series of symptoms and health concerns. 

Your companion will need to be kept in a quiet place to avoid stimulus and minimize his activity level.  Keeping him calm will prevent him from accidentally hurting himself as a result of the tremors, seizures or severe sedation.  Medications will be administered depending on what symptoms your dog is experiencing.  Additional therapies will be administered by the veterinarian as needed by your dog.

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Recovery of Adderall Toxicity in Dogs

Your dog’s prognosis of recovery is affected directly by how much adderall he ingested and therefore, the severity of his toxicity.  Your dog will need immediate medical attention after ingesting the medication; the sooner you get him to his veterinarian the higher his chances at recovery. The best thing you can do for your dog is prevent him from experiencing toxicity in the first place.  Be sure to keep all medications at a high level in your home so that your dog cannot reach them, even when standing on his hind legs.

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Adderall Toxicity Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Cavapoo

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Six Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Noisy Breathing

Our cavapoo puppy accidentally ate a 15mg adderall instant release. No symptoms yet but what would you advise we do?

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in answering, this venue is not set up for urgent email. If your pet is having problems, it would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian, as they will be able to examine them, see what might be going on, and get any treatment needed.

Oct. 24, 2020

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Mixed

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Four Years

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Hyper

My dog is a mixed breed (don't know which because she's a rescue) she's 4 months old approx 21lbs I left my pup alone from 11 to 6 , left her some treats around the house and water but she hasn't eaten actual food since 11am. I can home and my bottle of Adderall was all chewed up, pills where all around the place and wet. I'm not sure if she ingested any, she seems normal, she's looking around alot but I'm not sure if it's for food , I do feel she's acting like her normal self.

Aug. 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If you think that she ate any of your medication, but you don't know how many, she needs to see a veterinarian. There are serious side effects from over doses of Adderall. I hope that she is okay.

Aug. 25, 2020

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Terrier

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Eight Months

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2 found helpful

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Drooling

My dog got into my moms prescription and ate her adderall. He’s now drooling and is acting very calm we don’t know what to do.

Aug. 7, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, without knowing the weight of your dog or how many Adderalls were eaten, it isn't possible for me to say what might happen. It would be best to either call a Veterinary Clinic that is open in your area, or a pet poison hotline, and give them that information so that they can give you an idea as to whether you need to worry or not. I hope that all goes well for your dog.

Aug. 7, 2020

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Labrador Retriever

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1.5 years

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None Yet Just Happened

My dog ate a 30 mg adderall. I looked up on google and says it can be fatal. My dog weighs 55 lbs

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Hello- You need to take your pet to a veterinarian immediately. On the way I would recommend calling pet poison helpline at 855-764-7661. They will be able to tell you based on the amount of medication she received how toxic it is and can make a treatment plan for your veterinarian. Once at the veterinary ER they can start treatment. I hope she recovers.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Shih Tzu

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Four Years

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Not Urinating

My 24lbs shih tzu digest a 10mg adderall today around 1pm and it’s now 12 hrs later and he haven’t urinated as of yet. He’s also throwing up. Should I take him to the vet?

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Hello With any toxin ingestion, I recommend that you take him to a veterinarian immediately. Good luck.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Ro

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German Shepherd

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8 Months

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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Shaking
Drooling
Panting
Inability To Focus

I’d like to share my experience in hopes it may help others in the future. My 8 month old, 50lb German Shepard/red heeled puppy got into my roommates weekly medication box while I was at work. (I won’t get into why he wasn’t in his kennel while she ran errands in the first place). From the pills we were able to find, we were able to estimate that he most likely consumed 200mg vyvanse time release capsules, 60mg adderall, anywhere from 8-24mg clonazepam, 40mg Zyrtec, and vitamins (multi, fish oil, VB, VC, apple cider capsules, and collagen). He is a known chewer with a special interest in hard plastic and paper. I called poison control as soon as I found out, which was about 2 hours after he could have injested the meds. SYMPTOMS: By the time I got home, he was acting very anxious and paranoid and neurotic. He was peeing every time I spoke to him, wouldn’t come to me, was shaking, panting, and drooling. He wouldn’t eat or drink water, wouldn’t lay down, and his eyes were darting back and forth constantly. No vomiting or diarrhea. DIAGNOSIS: Poison control said that based off the kinds of medications and amounts, to take him to a clinic immediately. Once there the vet spoke to poison control and this is what they found. PROGNOSIS: They said that the clonazepam was actually a low dose for a dog and didn’t seem too concerned. They weren’t worried about the allergy medicine or the vitamins either. The only thing they were worried about were the adderall and vyvanse but in no way did they make it sound like he wouldn’t be ok, or at least they didn’t act that way. TREATMENT: They said because of the time frame and because he was already exhibiting symptoms, inducing vomiting wouldn’t help and would only increase the risk of him aspirating (inhaling his vomit). They also didn’t mention any tests that needed to be run. They said based off the conversation with poison control and his vitals, he simply needed to let the drugs run their course. They suggested I leave him with them so they could administer fluids to help flush out the medication and give him sedation (ACEPROMAZI E) to help keep him calm. In total it would have cost $800. They also gave me the option of taking him home with oral sedatives as long as I kept an eye on him. I went with option B. OUTCOME: Unfortunately the sedation dose was too low so he wasn’t able to calm down much at night. I ended up doubling the dose per the vet in the morning. After about 12 hours from the initial ingestion he was able to eat again, 14 hours later he finally started drinking water (this is where the IV fluids would have helped), and 16 hours later he finally laid down. It was such a scary situation but luckily he is doing great. Hope this helps.

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