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No one likes to have a nagging ache or actual pain themselves. And most of us would not like our furry friends to be in pain or suffer discomfort either. But should we give them medications that are meant for humans, or even a natural remedy?

The answer should be a resounding: NO.

Animals’ genetic makeup is different to ours, as is their digestive and brain systems. A chemical that helps us with a headache is most likely to end in one way for your pet – death. Because their bodies are not capable of managing the preparation, it can and usually does create havoc with their delicate systems to terminal effect.

Do ALL human drugs behave the same in pets?

The majority do. Take the arsenics for instance. Everyone knows how powerful a deadly medication they are today. But how many know that these drugs were given routinely as a heart help in the 19th century to people suffering from a heart condition? And the dosage that they were given to sufferers would often have laid flat a pet. So this is one example. Arsenic was used for years to help failing human hearts to continue to beat, but, on an animal, the opposite effect is true.

 Cats and human painkillers.

Cats may think they are the royalty of the pet world, but they are sadly not so when it comes to being given human medication aid for pain. Most human pain killers will also kill your pet. A cat is not even ⅛ of a human adult’s weight, so for a start, you would be overdosing them severely as a lot of full-grown humans are in the 75 – 80 kilogram range and a cat is usually around 3 kilograms if they are slightly pudgy. Cats metabolize pain killers differently to humans. In the cat, the pain killer will metabolize into something which blocks the movement of oxygen in the blood vessels, allowing no oxygen to travel anywhere in the body. This results in a very painful slow death for your pet. These results can be treated, but the cost is prohibitive and the prognosis poor. Liver and kidney damage also follow fast on the lack of oxygen to the tissues.

 Dogs and human painkillers.

Because dogs are larger animals generally, it may take a bit longer to see that your pet has reacted badly to the human medication. It may take 4 -5 days in some cases, but usually there are signs beforehand, such as drooling, flat expression, black feces and wobbling. The animal may go to sleep and remain so, or fit badly frequently. If you have inadvertently given your dog a human pain killer, even though there are no signs or symptoms visible, get them to your vet clinic as soon as possible. These drugs affect the liver, kidneys, stomach lining and the brain and require anti-serums and treatment immediately to ensure this does not happen.

Giving an animal human pain relief

This should not be practiced at all. Rather, visit your vet clinic and get something that is suitable and safe for your animal. Horses and cows, because of their size, may not suffer badly or fatally, but it is best not to experiment.

Just because your cat or dog chooses a certain grass or plant to eat, do not assume that all herbs are safe for them either. Tansy, an herb which is supposed to repel fleas, can result in terminal liver damage if eaten. The ordinary peppermint leaf herb is also a no-no for the animal. Check with your vet clinic as to what natural herbs are safe for your pet.