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What is Bacflofen Poisoning?

Baclofen is a GABA receptor agonist, which affects the area above the spinal cord and the spinal cord itself. This therapeutic drug relaxes the skeletomuscular system in people, and has also been given to canines to treat urinary retention. This drug is not prescribed specifically for this cause, but has been utilized (extra label) in dogs in a small dosage by some veterinarians.

Individuals with diseases of the spinal cord or multiple sclerosis are prescribed baclofen to ease muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. This medication is an antispastic drug and muscle relaxer. Even in humans this medication has side effects. It can impair thinking, cause drowsiness, impact balance and movement, and will reduce muscle tone. Individuals who take baclofen are on specific dosages prescribed by their physician, and baclofen poisoning can occur if dogs ingest the medication. How they react is relative to how much they ingest.

Baclofen poisoning in dogs is the result of dogs ingesting the medication baclofen, which is often prescribed to multiple sclerosis patients or those that need potent muscle relaxers for other illnesses.

Bacflofen Poisoning Average Cost

From 43 quotes ranging from $100 - $1,400

Average Cost

$350

Symptoms of Bacflofen Poisoning in Dogs

Dogs that consume baclofen will have a variety of symptoms. A lethal dose of baclofen can be between 8 and 16 mg/kg. Symptoms can begin in as little as 15 minutes after ingestion. The severity of the symptoms will depend on the quantity ingested. Symptoms of baclofen poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Ataxia
  • Disorientation
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures
  • Drooling
  • Weakness
  • Hypothermia
  • Panting
  • Edema (pulmonary)
  • Tremors
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slow heartbeat

Types

Baclofen may be referred to and identified with other names. It is important to know the types of names baclofen can be referred to so you may be able to communicate the specific type with your veterinarian. Other types include: 

  • Lioresal
  • Novartis
  • Kemstro
  • Liofen
  • Beklo
  • Gablofen
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Causes of Bacflofen Poisoning in Dogs

The cause of baclofen poisoning in dogs is the ingestion of the medication. Baclofen greatly affects the spinal cord and reflex activity of the nervous system. In high doses it negatively affects and depresses the central nervous system. More specifically, baclofen can poison the system in the following ways: 

  • Inhibits the stimulatory compound in the brain stem
  • Reduces the myocardial epinephrine
  • Paralysis in the intercostal muscles and diaphragm
  • Rapid absorption from the gastrointestinal tract
  • A decrease in the release of the neurotransmitter (gamma-aminobutyric acid) from presynaptic neurons
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Diagnosis of Bacflofen Poisoning in Dogs

If you or a family member take baclofen, and you realize that your dog has consumed the pills, call your veterinarian immediately. It is important to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian will ask about the dog’s history of ingestion, including the approximate amount consumed.

The veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination, including blood work, urinalysis, and a biochemistry profile. The veterinarian will also check the measurement of the electrolytes and baseline chemistry tests. Both these will test for hypokalemia and hypoglycemia. High creatinine, the enzyme aminotransferase, and lactate are often found in dogs with baclofen toxicity. The veterinarian will also check for depression of the respiratory system and aspiration pneumonia. An electrocardiogram may also be performed to check the functioning of the heart.

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Treatment of Bacflofen Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment for baclofen poisoning is mostly in the form of supportive care, and less the dog has not exhibited any symptoms at the time of arrival. If the dog is not symptomatic, emesis may be performed and activated charcoal may be given. Treatment methods can also include:

Gastric Lavage

The veterinarian may decide to perform gastric lavage to flush out the stomach and the toxic contents. This depends on the dog and his symptoms; the veterinarian will be cautious due to the possibility of aspiration. If the dog is able to swallow and has control over the muscles of his esophagus, the veterinarian may also give activated charcoal after this procedure.

Fluid Therapy

Fluid therapy will be given as a means to increase excretion of the baclofen through the kidneys. Fluid therapy also protects organs from any damage.

Drugs

If the dog is having seizures, diazepam will be given to stabilize the central nervous system. Other drugs that may be given to control disorientation or agitation are cyproheptadine and acepromazine. If bradycardia occurs, atropine will be given.

Hemodialysis

Hemodialysis may be performed to restore the proper balance of electrolytes. This method of treatment can help treat renal failure or dysfunction.

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Recovery of Bacflofen Poisoning in Dogs

Recovery from baclofen poisoning in dogs solely depends on the level of poisoning. If the dog has responded well to treatment, the prognosis is considered good. If the dog needs to stay in the hospital to become stabilized, the prognosis is guarded. Your veterinarian will communicate with you your dog’s prognosis.

If your dog has responded to treatment and the veterinarian has allowed him to go home, you will be given detailed instructions on how to care for him at home. It is important to very closely monitor your dog during recovery in order to properly manage his care. Your physician will want to see him again for follow-up visits to be sure that he is making progress. If you see any new symptoms that concern you, it is important to call the veterinarian with any questions.

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Bacflofen Poisoning Average Cost

From 43 quotes ranging from $100 - $1,400

Average Cost

$350

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Bacflofen Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

Brownie

dog-breed-icon

Shih Tzu

dog-age-icon

13 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

My dog has ingested 5 mg of baclofen, he’s a 13 year old shih tzu and weights about 14 lbs. It’s been about 30 minutes since he’s ingested baclofen and still has not shown any symptoms of overdose. Should I take him to the vet even though he hasn’t shown any symptoms yet?

July 13, 2018

Brownie's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Baclofen is used in dogs at doses of 0.5-1.0mg/lb, therefore 5mg is below therapeutic dose for a 14lb dog; however doses as low as 0.65mg/lb have resulted in symptoms. Keep an eye on Brownie and visit your Veterinarian if you have any concerns. Regard Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/baclofen/ http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/toxicology-brief-baclofen-overdose-dogs

July 13, 2018

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Chunk

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Olde English Bulldogge

dog-age-icon

9 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

Hi. My 9yr old Olde English Bulldogge ate one of my 10mg Baclofen pills about 30 mins ago. He weighs about 60-65 lbs. He’s not showing any symptoms yet but I’m wondering if he should be taken to a vet regardless of being symptomless at this point. Any advice?

June 23, 2018

Chunk's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

From what I see, toxicities have been reported with Baclofen in dogs at 0.7 mg/kg, which is about 20 mg of Baclofen. If Chunk shows any signs of weakness, vomiting, drooling, or lethargy, it would be best to have him seen right away. Otherwise, he has not eaten a toxic dosage.

June 23, 2018

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Chico

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Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

3 Months

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

Mild severity

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2 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Anxiety, Unusual Barking, Crying

My 3 month old Lab ate a 10mg Baclofen pill. He’s about 40lb. I called the Pet Poison Helpline and they said he’s be fine because it’s a small dose. It’s been hours sincs it happened but he’s behaving in a unusual way. Barking, crying and looks anxious. I don’t know what to do.

May 28, 2018

Chico's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

If Chico is acting abnormally after eating the Baclofen, it might be a good idea to have him examined and make sure that he is okay. He may just be being a normal 3 month old puppy, but that medication can cause electrolyte disturbances and that may be making him feel abnormal, and that is how he is telling you. With toxins, it is always better to be safe than sorry, and a veterinarian will be able to assess him, determine if he is having any problems, and recommend any treatment that he may need. I hope that he is okay.

May 28, 2018

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Star

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Labrador

dog-age-icon

4 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

No Symptoms Yet

What should we do to help our 4 year old Lab/Pit mix who ate a 10mg baclofen tablet? She weighs approximately 80lbs and is not exhibiting any symptoms yet. We are really concerned and appreciate your advice.

March 11, 2018

Star's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Generally in cases of baclofen poisoning, symptoms present within two hours of ingestion. Star is approximately 36kg, which mean as she consumed 0.27mg/kg of baclofen if 10mg was consumed which is below the 1.3mg/kg level for the presentation of symptoms. I would recommend that you keep a close eye on Star for the next few days and visit your Veterinarian or an Emergency Veterinarian immediately if you see any symptoms listed on this page. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/toxicology-brief-baclofen-overdose-dogs www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/baclofen/

March 11, 2018

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Liam

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Great Dane

dog-age-icon

15 Months

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

Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Twitchy

Our Great Dane survived a bacflofen over dose about 6 months ago. He was required 24 hour attention and hourly shots to keep him resting it last about 3 days before we could bring him home. After this happened he has not been quite the same. Very jumpy twitchy and all the sudden aggression toward the neighbors in which he loved. Now last night he attacked me leaving full mouth deep marks on both arms. Is this possibly a side effect of what happened? If so any ideas on how to work with This? Right now we do not trust him and we have kids and smaller animals , thanls

Jan. 14, 2018

Liam's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Baclofen is a skeletal muscle relaxant with a low lethal dose in dogs, however it is generally accepted that dogs which suffer from an overdose of baclofen make a full recovery and should have no long term issues after recovery. If you are noticing some behavioural issues after recovery, this may be due to behavioural changes from the process of treatment and the overall experience rather than the overdose itself. You should discuss with your Veterinarian and also look into training for Liam especially since he is still young. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Jan. 15, 2018

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Ringo and Charlie

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Miniature Shih tzu

dog-age-icon

15 Weeks

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

Critical severity

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0 found helpful

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

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Vomiting
Drooling
Crying

My mini shih tzu's injested anywhere from 30-40mg of Baclofen. They are 15 weeks old. Signs first came out in Ringo. Very lethargic, crying, could not sit still, vomiting, and drooling. We immediately took him to the animal hospital. while On the way there, my son called and said Charlie was drooling and couldn't walk. By the time Charlie was brought to the Animal hospital, she was flaccid, seizing, lifeless. She was completely fine when we left the house. She was given valium and we were sent to the emergency vet hospital. Charlie was started on IV fluids and Lipids. Ringo was as well. Charlie has not stopped seizing for approximately 4 hrs now. She is not expected to make it through the night. Ringo was less lethargic since vomiting 3x, but still drooling and very sick. They weigh 3 and 4 lbs. It has been a nightmare. Praying both puppies pull through this.

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Bella

dog-breed-icon

lab terrier

dog-age-icon

7 Months

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

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Twitching Panti
Twitching Panti Trouble Brea
Twitching Panti Trouble Breathing

My 7 month old Bella ate 13 of my 10mg tablets we took her to the emergency room about an hour afterwards she’s been giving iv fluids and medicine to help flush her kidneys it’s now been about 13 hours and she’s showing some improvement they asked us for her to stay another 24 hours this is very expensive and we only can afford for her to stay 1 more day what can I expect once she comes home so we may care for her properly

dog-name-icon

Sirus

dog-breed-icon

Border Collie

dog-age-icon

19 Months

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

Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Disorientation
Weakness
Lack Of Appetite
Pacing
Vocal
Fast Heart Rate

My collie cross eat around 15 tablets. He was taken for emergancy treatment instantly. After several ways of trying to make him be sick by the vet he wasn't and when he later was,the tablets had already been absorbed. He was being vocal,not using legs, not eating or drinking,drooling,being vocal,feeling cold and fast heart rate. After 6 hours in vets I brought him home to watch over night and he made improvement each hour. This was now nearly 24 hours ago. He's much more his usual self today,just tired as he spent most of the night pacing.

Bacflofen Poisoning Average Cost

From 43 quotes ranging from $100 - $1,400

Average Cost

$350

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