Middleton veterinarian warns about big pill bottle trend - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Middleton veterinarian warns about big pill bottle trend

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MIDDLETON (WKOW) -- Household medicine can be harmful in large doses, which is why most bottles have child locks. However, the family pet is still at risk if medicine is left out. 

Middleton dog owner Emily Goetz recently got a firsthand lesson on why it's imperative to keep medicine bottles out of reach. 

"I came home from work one day and North was relaxing on the couch, chewing on a bottle of Ibuprofen," Goetz says. 

North, her approximately 80 lb. dog, ate about half of a bulk-size bottle of Ibuprofen. 

"It was about 30 to 45 percent more than the lethal amount for his body weight," Goetz says. 

Goetz rushed North to Veterinary Emergency Services in Middleton where he was treated for overdosing on Ibuprofen. 

"After inducing vomiting and doing a lot of treatments for three days he is making a full recovery," Goetz says. 

Family pets accidentally overdosing on household painkillers is "probably the most common thing that we see," says Dr. Josh Smith, emergency and critical care specialist at Veterinary Emergency Services. 

He says severe medicine-based overdoses occur on a weekly basis and an Ibuprofen specific overdoses happen monthly. 

"We are seeing high levels of ingestion and some of it is because it's seen at such high levels around the house," Dr. Smith says. 

Unlike other countries, the U.S. doesn't restrict the amount of painkillers sold per bottle, Smith says, but he's warning against buying big pill bottles in bulk. 

"That's how we buy it because that's how it's sold," he says. "Any dog, cat or child that gets into it is going to overdose." 

Smith says dogs usually smell a candy-coating through the plastic and think there is a treat inside. 

As for Goetz, she also urges her fellow pet owners to make sure medications are locked up and out of reach. 

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