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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

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Average Cost

$650

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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)
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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)
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Antidepressants Poisoning Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$650

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Antidepressants Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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pek

dog-age-icon

Four Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

Would 10 mg pill lexa pro harm my dog

Feb. 19, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello If your pet ingested a 10mg tablet of Lexapro, please take him to a veterinarian right away so they can induce vomiting (depending on when he swallowed it). This medication could be toxic to your pet.

Feb. 28, 2021

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dog-breed-icon

lab pit mix

dog-age-icon

Two Years

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

Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

My 60lbs dog ate approximately 75 mg of Wellbutrin and I don't have peroxide to make him throw up. Will he be okay?

Jan. 8, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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0 Recommendations

This is not a medicine used for dogs and there is extremely limited information available. You could call the poisons hotline (888) 426-4435. Alternatively you could bring your dog to the local emergency clinic and they will be able to make him sick there.

Jan. 8, 2021

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Pug

dog-age-icon

Twelve Years

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

Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

My pug (20lbs) accidentally ate a 20mg fluexotine that my other dog takes daily. It dropped and my pug ate it.

Nov. 23, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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2 Recommendations

We use this medicine at a dose of up to 2mg/kg so as long as the Pug is 10kg or more we wouldn't expect an issue. Temporary lethargy and nausea may occur. If there has been an overdose, an immediate vet visit is advised in case we need to induce vomiting.

Nov. 23, 2020

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dog-breed-icon

Dachshund-sheperd

dog-age-icon

One Year

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

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

N/A

My boy got into my medicine and chewed on venlaxafine tablets (5), 150mg. He did not swallow the pills whole (almost like he tasted and spit out) and I found a lot of the inside of the pill all over the floor. He's a yr old and weighs about 25-30lbs.

Oct. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello For any type of toxin ingestion or exposure, it is recommended that you call a veterinarian or at least a pet poison control for advice and recommendations. Otherwise, take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Good luck.

Oct. 25, 2020

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Pit Bull

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Six Months

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

Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Hot

My dog is 50 lbs and ingested 2 - 40 mg Citalopram pills of mine but accident, yesterday. He is 6 months old, and has been acting fine until he felt hot to the touch all over his body tonight. His nose is also dry and warm, but he is sleeping.

Oct. 23, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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1 Recommendations

With any accidental ingestion of medicine like this it is always best to contact your dog's vet right away as they know their medical history and would have access to the poisons helpline, so could assess if this is a dangerous dose or not. There is little information available Re the safe levels of Citalopram in dogs as it is not a medicine used in veterinary medicine. One study showed that dogs can have bloodwork changes and changes in the heart beat at a dose of 20mg/kg. Your dog ingested around 4mg/kg which is a much lower dose. While it is good they are not showing any signs, a check over would be sensible given the limited information we have on this drug.

Oct. 23, 2020

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Sheldon

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hound mix

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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

Fair severity

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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.

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Zoe

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Boxer

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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

Fair severity

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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.

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Franco

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Fox Terrier

dog-age-icon

13 Weeks

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

Fair severity

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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.

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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

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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?

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Luke

dog-breed-icon

Border Terrier

dog-age-icon

11 Months

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

Fair severity

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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

Protect yourself and your pet. Compare top pet insurance plans.

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