Opioids and Opiates Poisoning Average Cost

From 38 quotes ranging from $500 - 6,000

Average Cost


First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

What is Opioids and Opiates Poisoning?

There are many medications made from opium, both prescription and street drugs. Some of those are morphine, heroin, hydrocodone, codeine, and methadone. The cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous systems are all affected by opioids and opiates, slowing down breathing and heart rate. Opioid and opiate poisoning can occur from accidental ingestion of human medication and accidental overdose from giving the wrong dosage. The effects are seen within about 30 minutes, depending on the method of exposure and amount ingested. The most common cause of opioid or opiate poisoning is the oral ingestion of human medication, from pills or patches. The most common signs of toxicity are severe drowsiness, slow breathing and heart rate, seizures, and vomiting. If you believe your dog may have gotten a toxic dose of opioids or opiates, call your veterinarian immediately or go to the animal hospital, even if there are no symptoms yet.

Opioids and opiates are medications made from opium, which is a drug derived from the liquid (latex) inside of a poppy. These medications are used for pain relief in people and animals, blocking the pain signals from reaching the brain. Many veterinarians use opioids and opiates in the hospital for pain relief and sedation in dogs during and after medical procedures. Sometimes, the veterinarian will prescribe pain medication for your dog, but most do not use opiates or opioids for dogs unless under medical supervision. This is because, even small doses, opioids and opiates can be dangerous for your dog due to the extreme effect it has on the central nervous system. Your dog can become unconscious and stop breathing within minutes of ingestion, so veterinarians will only prescribe opioids and opiates for pain in extreme circumstances. It is also possible for your dog to be poisoned from getting into your pain medication, either oral or patch form, and this can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Book First Walk Free!

Symptoms of Opioids and Opiates Poisoning in Dogs

The symptoms of opioid and opiate poisoning have similar symptoms but can vary depending on the animal. In some cases, these drugs can cause sleepiness, but in others, the same amount of the same drug may cause excitability. The most commonly reported signs of toxicity are:

  • Abnormal behavior
  • Coma
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures
  • Severe sedation
  • Slowed heart and breathing rate
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Walking as if drunk
  • Weakness

Less common symptoms are:

  • Extreme excitability
  • Nervousness
  • Respiratory arrest (not breathing)
  • Shaking uncontrollably
  • Sleepiness


  • Opioid poisoning is caused by overdose of a narcotic pain reliever that is at least partially man-made and not found in nature
  • Opiate poisoning results from ingestion of a large amount of a narcotic pain reliever made naturally from the opium sap of a poppy

Causes of Opioids and Opiates Poisoning in Dogs

Many different medications and drugs can cause opioid or opiate poisoning, such as:

  • Atarax
  • Buprenorphine
  • Butorphanol
  • Codeine
  • Demerol
  • Dilaudid
  • Diphenoxylate
  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Loperamide
  • Lortab
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Norco
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Pentazocine
  • Profadol
  • Propoxyphene
  • Tramadol

Diagnosis of Opioids and Opiates Poisoning in Dogs

Your veterinarian will start by doing a complete physical of your dog, including eye, ear, and nose exam, reflexes, pulse and respiration rates, height, weight, body temperature, and blood pressure. Be prepared with your dog’s complete medical history, even if you are seeing your regular veterinarian. It saves time if the veterinarian does not have to go through paperwork to find out if your dog has had his shots and what recent illnesses and injuries he has had.

One of the first tests your veterinarian will perform is a complete blood count (CBC) to measure platelets, white, and red blood cells. Blood chemistry, liver enzyme function, and a toxicology screening will also be done. Some of the other tests needed are radiographs (x-rays) of the chest and abdomen, CT scan to rule out head injury, and an electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure the electrical and musculature activity of the heart.

Treatment of Opioids and Opiates Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment depends on the amount of drugs ingested and your dog’s condition upon arrival. If your dog is in respiratory arrest, the veterinarian will begin oxygen therapy and place a nasal cannula in your dog’s nose to administer oxygen continuously. IV fluids and medication will be started to treat whatever symptoms your dog is experiencing. To counteract the opioid or opiate, a drug called naloxone will be given to block the narcotic effects. The veterinarian will also prescribe an anti-anxiety medication and medicine to stop seizures if needed. They will most likely keep your dog overnight for observation to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.

Recovery of Opioids and Opiates Poisoning in Dogs

Once your dog is released to go home, the veterinarian may prescribe anti-anxiety medication for a few days to give as needed to keep your dog relaxed. It is important for his recovery to get rest and not be agitated. Be sure to follow up with the veterinarian as needed and call if you have any questions or concerns. Keep all medications out of the reach of your dog to prevent this from happening again.

Opioids and Opiates Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

very calm
Slow breathing
doesnt want to eat or move

i have a beagle who is only a year old and has a bad cough, basically the doctor gave him 5mg of hydrocodone and said to give it to him 8-12 hours so i have been giving him the pill every 8 hours. however i just read that it said 1/2 and me and my boyfriend got into a fight over it. he said that within the last 24 hours i had given him 4 pills and that was over what he needed and i argued that the 1/2 meant one to two pills. i was given 10 pills for 3-5 days and so far we are down to 6 yet im starting to get worried as he may have a point. my beagle is one and has ingested 20mg of hydrocodone within 24 hours when he might have been supposed to be taking 5mg for a full 24, what do i do? i think hes fine but im not sure is this dangerous or is my boyfriend wrong like i said he was?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
In short your boyfriend is right. The dosage for hydrocodone in dogs is 0.25 mg/kg (0.11mg/lb) two to three times per day given orally; you can work out from Buddy’s weight what the dosage should be; if Buddy weighs 25lb this would mean that 0.11x25=2.75 so 2.75mg or half a 5mg tablet should be given two to three times per day, so you certainly overdosed him. I don’t have any toxicology data to hand on hydrocodone overdose, but if you call the Pet Poison Helpline (first link below) they will be able to help you. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/opioids-opiates/ www.msdvetmanual.com/pharmacology/systemic-pharmacotherapeutics-of-the-respiratory-system/antitussive-drugs

Add a comment to buddy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

French Bulldog
5 Months
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms


My dog licked a bowl that contained opiates in it previously. He started salivating & looking dizzy. I quickly wiped out his mouth & he is VERY sleepy. What Shuld I do?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1608 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm not sure what type of opiates Rambo has been exposed to, but it would be best to have him seen at a veterinarian immediately to assess his neurologic status, administer activated charcoal if the time frame is appropriate, and offer supportive care if he needs it. There is a reversal for opiate toxicity, and Rambo may benefit from having that, once they have assessed his systemic functions.

Add a comment to Rambo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

American Bulldog
14 YRS
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

swollen legs on right side

My dog is a 15 american old american bulldog, she recently had a large mammary tumor removed, all went fine. at 1 month after surgery she has what looked to be a raw hairless spot which was leaking a lil fluid, limp appeared in front left leg, then fluid large amounts, next fluid under breast bone and neck, then back left leg, pain was so bad that touching her anywhere on her body caused severe pain in which she would bite and never has so much as bit anyone, she had a red patch of skin in all areas that took on this flood, her liver enzymes were high and she had been on many months of antibiotics prior to surgery. the area of the neck was where the most of the fluid as it was more concentrated. it literally was so much it appeared as if i would burst. drs were left completely baffled, the onset of this occurred and from the moment u would see a red blotch in 14 hr the fluid had fulled that area, her head was as big as a basketball at the time of her euthanization. i had 3 vets hired who were i sync at the time with one another she was not given lin crape nor any further blood work after cancer surgery. i am looking for some closure as the vet aid this was the fastest most aggressive illness they had ever seen, it took her out in less than two weeks, before she had a chance to lose weight, the right paw was 5 times the regular size with fluid, no tumors bone cancer or infection on x ray upon examination, your opinion is very much appreciated as to what this might have been, thank u

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations

It is hard to say what the cause of the symptoms were; we know that there can be lymphatic problems and limb swelling after the removal of mammary tumours, but the remaining symptoms are baffling. If you are looking for more answers (and if you still can) a post mortem by a board certified Pathologist. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I'm so sorry for your loss...It seems to be that cancer works the same way in animals as it does in humans, once there has been any cutting done the cancer spreads like crazy.

I hope you find the answers your looking for.

Add a comment to SNOW's experience

Was this experience helpful?

small chihuahua
9 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

winning vomiting diehera shakkie

my small house dod licked my fingers after having suboxin on them
hes not eating acts very poorly has slight diereha he just lays try vomiting
wont eat usually runs around now he dont

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1608 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I"m not sure what 'suboxin' is, but Gizmo needs to see a veterinarian if he is acting that way that you describe. Your veterinarian will be able to examine him, determine what help he needs, and give him any supportive care that he requires.

Add a comment to gizmo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

3 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Extremely sleepy

Medication Used


I was given 1/8th of hydrocodon to give my puppy for kennel cough. He seemed fine earlier when the vet gave him the pill but tonight he has slept ever since I gave it to him 2 hours ago. He’s 4.5 pounds and I just want to make sure he is okay. I also feel like his breathing is slow

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Lethargy is a common side effect of hydrocodone use in dogs, but if you believe that Mick is sleeping too much or he respiratory rate is too slow (reference: 18-34 breaths per minute) then visit your Veterinarian, Emergency Veterinarian or call the Pet Poison Helpline. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/opioids-opiates/

Add a comment to Mick's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Australian Shepherd
22 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms


My 20 month old Aussie went in for a xray on for his hip. They gave him hydrocodone 2.58ML. When we brought him home his tongue was turning blue and out to the side, labored breathing. I called the Vet and they said it was a strong dose and common for this and maybe he bit his tongue. 3 weeks later he had 4 Grand-Mal Seizures in 1 day. Something is not right. $5000 later I'm not convinced he didn't have a reaction from the hydrocodone. I spoke to Supervisor Vet and was told well we know now not to give him that much. I'm really not ok.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1608 Recommendations
I'm not sure what your question is that I might be able to help you with, but I am sorry that is happening to Mack. Common side effects from that medication include sedation and decreased rate of breathing. One course of action that you may have is to contact the licensing board for veterinarians in your area, as every veterinarian is governed by a board, and any client can report a potential problem for investigation.

Add a comment to Mack's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Griffon Bruxellois
Ten Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Won’t eat
Won’t eat won’t drink, disorientate
Won’t eat won’t drink, disorientat,
Won’t eat won’t drink

My very healthy fit excitable griffon dog had an operation for FB intestinal blockage on Monday at 6.30pm. I visitedthe next day and he was very sedate and didn’t know I was there. He wouldn’t eat. They asked me to try and feed him on Wednesday lunchtime and he came round enough to eat a few morsels of food then He was allowed to leave yesterday Wednesday and was discharged at 6pm
He doesn’t know how to eat or drink, he doesn’t recognise me, he can barely walk and when he does he staggers everywhere. He can’t find his bed , he just pees without knowing. He was given methadone 8mg/ml Buprenorphine 3ml both injected. Reglan,cerenia 20mg injected and 10mg tablet and a 40mg vial of protonix yesterday . He weighs 4.81 kg
He snaps and tries to bite you it’s like he doesn’t know who you are.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1608 Recommendations
Bear has been through a lot in the past few days, and the drugs that he is on may be heavily sedating him. You may need to be patient with him until the drugs are cleared from his system and he is back to his normal self. If you are not sure, it is never a bad idea to have a recheck for him with your veterinarian to make sure that he is okay.

I will start by saying that I am not trained in animal medicine. I took my bulldog in yesterday to get neutered. I took him home and he had similar symptoms (barely able to walk and if he did, he appeared drunk; he didn't appear to really recognize me--he wasn't aggressive, just mostly unresponsive; he wasn't interested in food or water or really smells treats). I called the vet and took him back to the hospital last night around 10pm. The vet told me this morning she had administered narcan last night and he perked right up. Unfortunately, she left the hospital for the night and when she came back this morning around 5:45am, my dog had passed away. My guess is the narcan wore off and there was no one to monitor or administer a second dose and his respiratory rate dropped again. I'm guessing your dog may also have some difficulty shaking anesthesia so I would call the vet and have them check him out--and to have someone continue to monitor him for 12-24 hours after he seems more himself again (that's the time recommendation across many sites I've googled). I hope your dog pulls through.

Add a comment to Bear's experience

Was this experience helpful?