Heart medication poisons pet around Valentine’s Day

In light of Valentine’s Day, the Pet Poison Helpline recently highlighted an episode of Toxin Tails.

When Victoria B. from Benet, Massachusetts went out of town to celebrate Valentine’s Day, her 2 dogs, Callie and Dakota, came with her because they were staying with her sister-in-law. While saying goodbye to the family, Victoria placed 2 weeks of Callie’s heart medication in pill pouches in plastic bags on the counter for her sister-in-law to administer while they were there. However, a turn of events ensued and the dogs began providing heart medication.

“Even though Dakota had lost a leg to cancer a few months earlier, he was able to jump off the counter and grab the medicine bag. I thought I was simplifying the process for my sister-in-law by putting the medicine in delicious pill pouches, but instead I turned them into a treat for Dakota. I won’t make that mistake again,” Becket said in a company statement.

“At home, the meds are always kept above the fridge so they don’t have access to them. Once we realized the dogs had ingested the meds, we rescheduled our trip and called our local veterinary hospital. They recommended that we call the experts at Pet Poison Helpline, Becket clarified.

According to Renee Schmid, DVM, DABVT, DABT, senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline and manager of veterinary medicine and professional services, Callie and Dakota’s story demonstrates the importance of taking special care with a patient’s medications. pet while traveling or in unfamiliar places.

“Medications Callie was taking for her congestive heart failure included pimobendan and enalapril, both of which can cause low blood pressure, lethargy, weakness and possible tachycardia. We recommended immediate veterinary care,” a explained Schmid.

The medical team induced vomiting upon arrival at Berkshire Veterinary Hospital. Although Callie didn’t have any pills in her vomit, Dakota returned the remains. He was given a dose of activated charcoal to reduce drug absorption, and both dogs were kept overnight for observation. According to the statement, each dog has made a full recovery. However, Callie lost her battle with congestive heart failure 8 months later, but Dakota remains cancer-free.

“Callie and Dakota were lucky their pill buffet didn’t have more extreme consequences, but they’re not alone,” Schmid added. “Pet Poison Helpline receives thousands of calls about animals ingesting medications, both human and animal, that have been inadvertently left within their reach.”


Hidden heart medicine poisons pet before Valentine’s Day. Press release. Pet Poison Helpline. February 9, 2022. Accessed February 15, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hidden-heart-medication-poisons-pet-prior-to-valentines-day-301478111.html