Jump to section

What is Antidepressants Poisoning?

While there are many different kinds of antidepressants, they are all toxic to your dog if enough is ingested. Tricyclic antidepressants are the most dangerous because they can affect the heart and central nervous system within minutes, and be fatal if not treated right away, depending on the amount ingested and size of the dog. Cardiac arrhythmia, tachycardia, and bradycardia are common and have to be addressed as soon as possible after ingestion or it can be fatal.It is true that veterinarians sometimes prescribe antidepressants to dogs for certain conditions, but even with small doses, side effects can always occur.

One of the top 10 poisonings in dogs is caused by antidepressant medicines, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclics (TCAs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and Novel antidepressants.

Antidepressants Poisoning Average Cost

From 77 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$650

Symptoms of Antidepressants Poisoning in Dogs

Although antidepressant poisonings share many symptoms, they each have some unique symptoms that should be noted. This may help in determining which medication your dog has ingested if it is unknown. The symptoms can be separated by the type, or may be just general symptoms if the medication type is unknown:

General

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Agitation
  • An inability to urinate
  • Bluish tinge to skin and mucous membranes
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Dangerously low body temperature
  • Depressed breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Involuntary rhythmic movement of the eyes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Lethargy
  • Low blood pressure
  • Metabolic abnormalities
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Sudden muscular contractions
  • Vomiting

SSRI

  • Ataxia
  • Extreme weakness
  • Hypertension
  • Seizures
  • Tachycardia
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

 TSI

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Death
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Dyspnea
  • Hypotension
  • Lethargy
  • Mydriasis
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Rash
  • Seizures
  • Swelling of tongue
  • Tachycardia
  • Tremors
  • Hives
  • Vasodilation
  • Vocalizing
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

MAOI

  • Arrhythmias
  • Coma
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Hypotension or hypertension
  • Respiratory depression
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Shock
  • Tachycardia

Novel

  • Seizures
  • Tremors

Types

There are many types of antidepressant medications with different names, but the most common are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclics, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

SSRI

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Nefazodone (Serzone)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Trazodone (Desyrel)

Tricyclic

  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Doxepin (Sinequan)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Trimipramine (Surmontil)

MAOI

  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Selegiline (Emsam)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)

Novels

  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Maprotiline (Ludiomil)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Antidepressants Poisoning in Dogs

The causes of antidepressant poisoning usually includes one of these three things:

  • Accidental ingestion (dog eating human’s medication)
  • Giving too much medication (accidental double dosage)
  • Side effect of medication (rare)
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Antidepressants Poisoning in Dogs

Before examining your dog for diagnosis, the veterinarian will make sure he is stable. Depending on how long ago the antidepressant was ingested, the veterinarian will first treat your dog by trying to induce vomiting, and will use activated charcoal, which is effective even several hours after ingestion. Gastric lavage or enema will also be tried if necessary. The main thing is to remove the toxic chemicals from your dog’s system in any way possible. The veterinary team may go ahead and admit your dog to the hospital to provide IV fluids, medication, and observation.

During the examination, your veterinarian will check your dog’s heart rate, body temperature, respirations, height, weight, and reflexes. It is important for you to give the veterinarian as much information as you have on your dog’s medical history, including vaccinations, recent illness or injury, and what kind of medicine you believe was ingested.

The veterinarian will do some blood tests, such as blood chemistry panel, blood gas, and complete blood count (CBC). In addition, a urinalysis will help the veterinarian check that the kidney is functioning properly. The veterinarian will perform an EKG to monitor your dog’s heart rate, and he may do an echocardiogram to see if the heart is pumping normally.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Antidepressants Poisoning in Dogs

The recommended treatments for any of these antidepressants include inducing vomiting as soon as possible after ingestion of the drug, activated charcoal lavage, and an enema to promote bowel movement. This will get rid of the chemicals in the drug if done early enough. The veterinarian may also use sodium bicarbonate if your dog is acidotic, barbiturates or diazepam for seizures, and propranolol for tremors and heart rate. Your dog will probably need to stay in the hospital for 24 hours for observation.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Antidepressants Poisoning in Dogs

Once you get home, make sure to find a place to store medications that your dog cannot get access to. Your dog will be fine within 24 to 48 hours after the drug wears off, but continue any medication that your veterinarian has given you, and be sure to call your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Antidepressants Poisoning Average Cost

From 77 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$650

arrow-up-icon

Top

Antidepressants Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

German Shepherd

dog-age-icon

Two Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Noisy Breathing

my dog ate some of my friends medication, he dog has anxiety and chases his shadows when we have people over, and we noticed he wasn’t doing anything different except for a couple instances. we don’t know when he ate them or exactly how much.

July 25, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, without knowing whether he ate any of the medication, how much he ate of the medication, or when he ate the medication, there is very little that I can say to do at home. If he seems like he's acting abnormal, or having problems, then it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian right away. If you did not eat any of the medication, he may be fine. I hope that everything goes well for him.

July 25, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Whippet mix

dog-age-icon

Eight Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Nonexistent

She took 30 mg Prozac that was intended for a different dog. Should I be concerned

July 19, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Without knowing how much your dog weighs, it is hard to say whether that dose is okay. The typical dose for fluoxetine in dogs is .5 mg per pound, so a 30 mg dosage would be intended for about a 50 or 60 lb dog. If she weighs very much less than 45 to 50 pounds, it would probably be best to contact your local ER, and see what they would advise. I hope it all goes well for her.

July 19, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Corgi

dog-age-icon

Four Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Tense

Puppy got a hold of my fluoxetine and ate anywhere from 20-60mg (more likely 20-40). Is this toxic or should I just let it work out

July 11, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Without knowing how much your puppy weighs, unfortunately, I don't know if that is a high or normal dosage for them. You can call your veterinarian, or an emergency clinic that is open near you, and let them know the details of the medication and your dogs weight, and they can let you know if any treatment might be needed.

July 11, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Bandit

dog-breed-icon

Shih Tzu X Pomeranian

dog-age-icon

3 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Unsure

My dog is a shih-Pom and I think he got one or two of my antidepressant pills, I believe they were 75Mg and we’re the ssri ones. I can’t figure out if his pupils are dilated even with a flashlight, but he’s warm and is breathing rapidly, I don’t know if it’s becase of my bedding or if it means he got one. I don’t know his weight but I think he’s About average weight for the breeds he is. Please answer with help ASAP.

Aug. 30, 2018

Bandit's Owner


I think he. Had them a couple hours ago. Help ASAP plz

Aug. 30, 2018

Bandit's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Apollo, Clio

dog-breed-icon

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Cold Nose

Either of my staffordshire terriers, 23kg and 12kg may have ingested a strip of three brintellix/trintellix tabs. Not sure if this morning or sometime yesterday. They both seem fine, just lethargic and the older staff seems a bit drpressed

Aug. 24, 2018

Apollo, Clio's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

Since it seems that it has been 12-24 hours since one or both of them may or may not have eaten the medications, and they seem fine, they may be a little sedated from the medication. It would be best to monitor them closely for signs of GI upset or neurologic problems.

Aug. 24, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Sheldon

dog-breed-icon

hound mix

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Hyperactivity

I discovered a pill bottle on the floor, the top completely chewed off. The pills were 40 mg and only three remained in the bottle. I asked the user of the pills, and they can not remember the remaining number, only that very few remained in the bottle. We’ve been monitoring the situation with our hound mix (60 lbs) and trying to get a sense of his condition. I discovered the bottle around 7 am eastern time today.

dog-name-icon

Zoe

dog-breed-icon

Boxer

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

I have an 2.5 year, 85lb Boxer named Zoe. I had dropped a bottle of 225 mg Venlafaxine ER. I thought I got all of them up but I found one just partially chewed up, probably less than half and I've counted the amount in the bottle and must have missed just one. She currently doesn't have any symptoms but I am concerned.

dog-name-icon

Franco

dog-breed-icon

Fox Terrier

dog-age-icon

13 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

No

Hi my dog got a hold of my sertraline I am pretty sure he never swallowed any but can't be 100 perfect. If so would onky be 1.50ml he is only 13 weeks should I phone the vet.

dog-name-icon

Knox

dog-breed-icon

German Shorthaired Pointer

dog-age-icon

18 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Rapid Breathing

I had dropped a couple of my 150mg er Wellbutrin (dropped the bottle in my living room) I thought I picked up all I could find, and also vacuumed the area (I thought very carefully to make sure nothing was in my carpet) couple days later my 65 pound German short hair pointer found a couple in the carpet. My boyfriend was able to get them away from him but believed he was able to swallow one.. (took one and a half pill away) he didn’t show any symptoms the first day. Day two seems to be breathing more rapid when he should be at rest. (He did play hard outside but seemed like his breathing never slowed down) he has had diarrhea For the last week and I thought it was from his food ( recently switched kinds but not brands) he also had been eating grass the days prior. His diarrhea hasn’t changed since eating the pills. He is still eating like normal also drinking water like he should. Should I be concerned? Should I take him to the vet?

dog-name-icon

Luke

dog-breed-icon

Border Terrier

dog-age-icon

11 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

My border terrier mix, 11 months old, who weighs 27 lbs, ate a Lexapro 10 mg tablet. He is not showing any signs or symptoms of poisoning. Poison control was not overly concerned and told us to monitor mostly grogginess and nausea/vomiting. Should he see a vet immediately or monitor for other side effects and what?

Antidepressants Poisoning Average Cost

From 77 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$650

How can we help your pet?