As a pet owner, you hate to see your little pup in pain. You want to do everything in your power to ease the hurt, make the discomfort go away, and get your pup healing as fast as possible. Unfortunately, some people try to remedy their pet's issues by giving them human medicines. While the intentions are good, usually, this can be an incredibly dangerous game to play, and one that could potentially permanently harm your dog (or worse, be a fatal mistake).
Rarely is there an appropriate reason to give your dog human medicine, especially oxycodone, and doing so can result in extreme issues. Opioids are powerful drugs that can cause adverse reactions in humans, so it's only natural that dogs, who those medicines are not made for in the first place, would be negatively affected by them.
Unfortunately, many people don't always follow this advice, and worse, your pup could accidentally get into oxycodone without you knowing. How can you tell if your doggo has ingested the drug? How can you keep your pup safe from the opioid? What can you do to ensure your doggo never ingests this drug?
Read on to get all the details you need to keep your dog safe from oxycodone.
Signs Your Dog Might Have Gotten into Oxycodone
If you're afraid your dog is acting funny and you suspect that they might have gotten into your oxycodone, there are a few, distinct signs you can watch out for. First things first, we recommend checking out the area where you keep your pills. Do the bottles seem to be in order? Do you see pills scattered on the ground? Are there missing pills? Once you evaluate this, move on to checking out your dog's behavior.
Does your dog seem weak or lethargic? Pups who ingest oxycodone can without a doubt be subject to a lazy, weak, and significantly lethargic mood. You may also notice that your pup's pupils are highly dilated as they might have the classic whale-eye symptoms (where you can see the whites of your dog's eyes).
You also may notice that your pooch is walking as if they're confused or even drunk. Oxycodone typically has a confusing, overwhelming effect on your doggo and your their muscles. Expect muscle weakness, muscle spasms and twitching, vomiting, a release of the bowels, and in extreme conditions, seizures and comas.
Historic Causes for Doggos Ingesting Oxycodone
Unfortunately, one of the biggest causes of doggo-Oxycodone-ingestion is misguided, but well-intentioned owners. As dog owners, people rarely want their animals to experience pain and sickness, and sometimes, they're not fully aware that dogs aren't able to process the same medications that we are. Sometimes, people think that because oxycodone can relieve their pain, it could work just as well for their pups.
Unfortunately, that's simply not the case. Your pooch is incredibly sensitive to Oxycodone, but you have no idea just how sensitive your pup might be. You do not know what dosage you could give your pup that could be safe (if any dosage is safe, to begin with).
Another cause of oxycodone ingestion in dogs is simply to blame on puppy curiosity and human error. Leaving medicine in an area that your pup could gain access to it is asking for trouble. As you know, dogs can get their noses into trouble - how many times have you caught them stealing your food? Unfortunately, your curious pup might think those pills left out are food, creating a dangerous risk for your pooch.
The Science Behind Oxycodone and Dogs
The issue with oxycodone and your pup is that your pooch is sensitive to oxycodone, but you don't know how sensitive. Even if your pup did need a dose of oxycodone, you'd have no idea how much you should give them.
Because oxycodone is not designed for dogs, vets don't use it. This drug, and even the less-potent Vicodin, can be incredibly dangerous for dogs. Unfortunately, their systems are not equipped to digest or break down these medications. Your dog will rapidly absorb this opioid, causing dilated pupils, coma, decreased respiratory rate, and respiratory depression. Your pooch can die if not treated immediately.
Training Your Dog to Avoid Oxycodone
Training your dog to avoid Oxycodone might seem impossible - a dog is a dog, after all, how could they possibly know what to avoid and what not to - but it's not as difficult as you might think. First, you need to ensure that your dog understands that what you say goes, and the best way to do this is to ensure that your dog follows basic command well.
If your dog knows that no means no, you can guarantee when you give your pup a command, they'll definitely listen when you shout a resounding "no" as they rush toward the scattering of pills you accidentally left out on the table. Ensuring your dog knows commands like "no", "drop it", and "stay" could end up saving their life. If your pup has a mouthful of pills that you accidentally left out, giving your pooch a firm "drop it" could potentially keep your doggo safe from ingesting oxycodone.
More than that, though, it's important to train your dog to behave, and by that, we mean to train your pup to understand that he or she is not allowed to nose around in areas that don't belong to them. For example, train your dog that certain rooms or objects are off-limits. Just like people train their pups to stay off the furniture, you can train your pooch to stay out of a room (The bathroom where you keep your pills) or away from an object (the medicine cabinet).
You'll also have to train yourself, too. You need to be incredibly careful when it comes where you're leaving your pills. If possible, keep them up high and in a container that your doggo can't open. That way, if your pooch does get to the bottle, he or she will not be able to get into it and swallow your pills.
Written by a Great Dane lover Hanna Marcus
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 04/04/2018, edited: 04/06/2020