Like many typical Irish households, nothing gets thrown away in my home. There are many bits and pieces that might come in handy at some point but old medication is definitely not one of them. Human or pet.
First and foremost, before giving your pet any medication, you should always consult your Vet or consider having your pet examined. Secondly, if you have old antibiotics lying around… well, weren’t you supposed to give your pet the whole dose? Regardless, today we’re discussing the dangers of keeping old pet medication lying around your home!
Granted, we’re all guilty of sometimes not finishing out the whole lot of perscribed pills for your pet. Yes, when our pets get sick, the first cupboard we reach for is the medicine one, but giving your furry-friend expired antibiotics can actually do more harm than good! Any Vet (not just us) will always recommend a consultation first, it’s for the welfare of your forever-friend! Under no circumstances should you ever give old antibiotics to your pet. And next time, please finish the course! Don't keep them lying round the house, thinking they might do for if there is a next time.
Giving steroids to a healthy pet, let alone old steroids, can have detrimental affects on their heart-rate, temperature, appetite and overall well-being. Unless a Vet has prescribed your pet a new dose of them, leave them in the cupboard with the antibiotics; or, better still, throw them away!
Eye drops are much the same, unless they’re in-date and from a recent prescription, into the bin they go. Using old eyedrops on a dog or cat is actually worse than using none at all; often resulting in blindness, swelling, damage to the muscles and damage to the optic nerves. Your pet’s eyes are as valuable as your own, so great caution should be taken; even when putting prescribed in-date medication into them!
Some of the other old or out of date medications we recommend throwing out are… well, all of them. This includes but is not limited to: dog and cat worming tablets, dog and cat flea treatments, dog and cat allergy medications, horse wormers and medications for small animals. Like in all cases you're better safe than sorry and when old medicine can sometimes do more harm than good you definitely don't want to be sorry.
Funnily enough, medication for aquariums is normally quite safe. These can include various salts, crystals and liquids that you would put in your tank to cure fin-rot, dropsy and many, many more ailments. But, as always, check the label and make sure that they’re well within their date!
So, I guess we’ll leave you to get going on emptying those cupboards! In all seriousness, hanging on to old medication, even for humans, is a definite no-no. Whatever is troubling your pet, always reach for the phone and call your trusted vet first; call your trusted anything first, but whatever you do, don’t rummage through the medicine cupboard looking for a miracle!
Just remember save yourself the trouble later and finish the course of medication and if you don't, throw it out!