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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Adderall Toxicity Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Stella
Labrador German Shepherd mix
4 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Not Moving, acting very weird
Not Moving

My 4 month old Labrador german Sheppard mix puppy ate one 10mg adderal today while my boyfriend was in the shower. She weighed about 22 lbs when we had a vet visit just yesterday for shots. I’m pretty sure she’s only eaten one but I’d like to know if eating 2 would cause problems just to be on the safe side. She hasn’t shown any signs of toxicity other than her heart rate is a bit elevated and she is acting very unlike her normal self. No tremors, no vomiting, no seizures, no drooling, etc. We tried to induce vomiting by giving her a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide (3%) but she’s hasn’t vomited yet. She is acting very weird, wouldn’t eat until I got home and doesn’t move much, other than looking around a lot. She’s not drinking much water and is not chewing things to shreds which is VERY unlike her. I just want to know if my baby will be okay...any advice is appreciated! Thank you!

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. The lowest reported toxic dose of Adderal in dogs that I found was 0.5 mg/kg, or 5 mg for a 22 pound dog. Since she ate more than that, she needs to be seen by your veterinarian, as they will be able to try and decontaminate for the drug, and offer supportive care until she is back to normal. Possible toxic effects of Adderal include: Restlessness, panting, hyperactivity, sedation, agitation/irritability/aggression, muscle tremors, seizures, increased heart rate, dilated pupils, elevated blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and death. It would be best to have her seen immediately. I hope that she is okay.

Hi, my dogs tore into my 20 mg bottle of adderall that was actually on my counter. This is the first time they’ve ever taken s bottle of pills off of my counter and tore it up. I found the stash of pills outside and they looked pretty untouched but I’m still scared that they got Into them. I had no idea they were gone until my 9 week old 20 pound puppy came up to me and handed me the bottle. None of them have symptoms of toxicity, should I just monitore them closesly?

How did your dog hold up? I’d like to know because the exact same thing happened to mine :(

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Pete
Goldendoodle
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hyperactivity
Vomiting

I have a 1 year old golden-doodle. He weighs approximately 25-30 lbs. This morning he got into my bottle of vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine, it's functionally the same as adderall, but delivery mechanism is different). The pills are 70mg capsules. We accounted for all but 8 of the pills, with a further 13 that had been broken open. So we assume he ingested 8, and got some portion of the other 13 that were broken. Best case, that's a minimum of 560mg, worst case it could be as much as 800+mg depending on how much of the broken pills he swallowed.

We took him to the vet as soon as we found out, but I am curious based on a dose that large on a dog that small, what sort of prognosis are we looking at?

He seems more hyperactive than normal, and we've seen him vomit 4 times (possibly a 5th, we found one clump of the pills that look like they had been at least in his mouth if not actually swallowed and regurgitated).

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
As you can see from the quote below from vetgirlontherun.com, severe symptoms can present from Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) with as little as 10mg/kg (around 5mg/lb). For now it would be a wait and see approach to see how Pete responds to therapy. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM “With Vyvanse, clinical signs can be seen at 1 mg/kg in dogs; severe clinical signs (e.g., such as tremors, seizures, etc.) can be seen at 10 mg/kg.” https://vetgirlontherun.com/amphetamine-toxicity-in-dogs-vetgirl-veterinary-ce-blog/ www.petpoisonhelpline.com www.vin.com/doc/?id=5665983

Update on Pete's recovery:

He ended eating 5 complete pills, and from the 13 broken pills we estimate he consumed another 2 pills worth of the medicine. So 7x70mg = 490mg of Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) for a 25-30 lb dog.

We discovered he had gotten into the pills around 15-30 minutes after he had done it. They kept him for a day and a half, and kept him sedated and hydrated via IV, and observed him. He's home now, but we are observing him still. In short, he recovered and appears to be the same hyper dog he was before.

If we hadn't acted quickly, doubtless he would not have survived such a high dose in such a small dog.

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Gunnar
German Shepherd
16 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

My dog potentially ate adzenys which is a form of ritalin hes a 16 month old Shiloh shepherd mix, he is acting scared to come near me or go anywhere which is extremely unusual because he is usually extremely hyper and over friendly, his nose is also extremely wet and he had diarrhea in the middle of the night and it was liquid-like just wondering what I can do at this point ?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
If you suspect that Gunnar consumed ADHD medication, you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination especially if you don’t know how much was possibly consumed. I don’t have any toxicology data for Adzenys so I cannot give you any specific indication, the Pet Poison Helpline probably would have that information. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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