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Toxicities from Over-the-Counter Drugs

By

Safdar A. Khan

, DVM, MS, PhD, DABVT, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, Illinois

Last full review/revision Aug 2014 | Content last modified Aug 2014

Human drugs or nutritional supplements available without a prescription are known as over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Exposures to OTC drugs in pets can be accidental or intentional. A valid client-patient-veterinarian relationship must exist for veterinarians to recommend extra-label use of these drugs to their clients. Most are not approved for veterinary use by the FDA, and safety of most OTC drugs has not been determined in animals. Veterinarians should understand the potential risks of using OTC medications and communicate these risks to their clients.

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Test your knowledge

Ethylene Glycol Toxicity
All animals are susceptible to poisoning by ethylene glycol, but due to its wide availability and common presence in homes, dogs and cats are most often accidently poisoned. Which of the following common household solvents is the source of ethylene glycol toxicity for companion animals?
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