Keep Cough Drops Out of Your Pet’s Reach

February 28, 2017 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

It’s cold and flu season and you have stocked up on cough drops and medicines to keep yourself healthy. While these remedies can help fight illness, remember to store these products away from pets. Cough drops can be especially dangerous for your pups.


The normal ingredients in cough drops, including sugar, menthol, eucalyptus oil, colors, and flavoring, can all cause gastrointestinal upset. However, some contain items that can bring about more serious consequences. One of these is the sugar substitute xylitol, the same ingredient that is found in sugar free candies and chocolate. When consumed in large amounts, xylitol can cause hypoglycemia and liver damage.


Benzocaine is another ingredient in cough drops that can be dangerous for pets. It also can cause an upset stomach, and when ingesting a large quantity, can cause a form of anemia with symptoms such as depression, weakness, and vomiting. As a local anesthetic, benzocaine can also numb the throat and mouth, which poses a choking hazard.


Obstruction of the digestive tract can also be a concern depending on the number of cough drops consumed and whether the wrapper was also ingested. Be sure to always keep your cold and flu supplies stored safely out of paws’ reach. If you believe your pet has ingested cough drops or other medicines, keep an eye on them for symptoms. Give us a call for advice if symptoms arise.

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