Prescription drugs and veterinary medications can cause deadly allergic reactions.


Drug Related Reactions


Some veterinarians dispense drugs without advising owners of potential reactions thereby doubling the danger because pets can't talk and owners don't recognize symptoms!



Allergic/Adverse Reaction Staff Report


How to prevent, diagnose, and report allergic medication reactions.  Candid, honest information to protect your dog - and your veterinarian.


JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Assoc.) reports “Adverse Drug Reactions result in over 215 million emergency room trips p/year.  Prescriptions are the fifth leading cause of human death.” Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) account for nearly 10% of all human hospital admissions. JAMA says adverse drug reactions while in the hospital equates to having three World Trade Center collapses every month!


In human medicine, when an allergic reaction occurs, help is as close as the emergency room and the patient can verbalize critical information to the doctor.


  When your pet has an adverse drug reaction, he may be home alone or outside, thus symptoms can go unnoticed until it's too late.  Even when your dog is by your side, he can't describe symptoms and you may not realize he is having an allergic medication reaction.


  Worse yet, you will unknowingly repeat the dose, leading to an emergency or death which is frequently UNDIAGNOSED and therefore, UNREPORTED as connected with that pet medication.

Veterinary medication reactions are much more frequent and even more deadly.  If pet owners recognized the symptoms and onset of adverse reactions, veterinary hospital admissions would explode but deaths would steeply decline.  Knowledgeable animal owners must accept that fear of malpractice suits in a suit-happy society makes vets very cautious about diagnosing and reporting adverse events. Thankfully most vets react spontaneously to save a pet however, the bitter truth is that dead dogs don't talk and necropsy is rarely mentioned when a pet dies from a medication reaction.


Symptoms Of Adverse Drug Reactions

Adverse drug (or food) reactions and side effects are usually limited to nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, rashes, swelling, and/or lethargy.


Anaphylactic shock can occur within minutes but may be delayed for several hours after administering the medication.  Anaphylactic shock is life threatening, resulting in respiratory and cardiac failure, and if not reversed, death.


Vaccines can cause seizures, partial paralysis, or general malaise.  When the adverse reaction is less dramatic, owners are even less likely to connect it to the injection but vaccines or other injections can cause the sudden onset of anaphylactic shock


Prescription Precautions and Medication Records

Always note (on the calendar is good!) when your dog receives a new medication, puppy shot or adult booster vaccine and be alert for any side effects for at least 36 hours.


When your pet receives any new medication, orally or by injection, ask your veterinarian for the prescription insert or CIS (client information sheet) and the manufacturer, date, serial number, etc.  This is not being negative, it is being wisely prepared.  Refer to adverse incident statistics above!


Adverse Drug or Vaccine Reactions (FDA form 1932)

If your dog has a reaction, no matter how mild, be sure it is properly reported.  To insure accuracy and also that the form is properly filed, you and your vet should complete FDA form 1932 together and you should send it.  Vets usually rely on staff to make such reports and slipups can occur.


FDA states "Pretesting by the manufacturer and review of the data by the government does not guarantee absolute safety and effectiveness due to the inherent limitation imposed by testing the product on a limited population of animals."  Doublespeak and run-around is typical of the FDA website which ironically states "you should first call the drug company to report an ADE..."  ADE is insider lingo for "adverse drug experience."


If you received the prescription insert, the phone number should be on that sheet.  If not, call the FDA directly at 1-888-FDA-VETS and leave a message, including the brand name, your phone number, and a request for help with FDA form 1932. 


No one knows how many beloved pets die each month from adverse reactions to lifesaving veterinary drugs, vaccines, and even dog food.  We hope you will help us continue to protect dogs and inform owners.  For more current information invest 110 seconds of your valuable time reading Prescribing Death, a concise report on medication & vaccine marketing, human fatalities, cancer and medication costs.


Jean Townsend filed a class-action lawsuit Oct. 12 1999 on behalf herself and other dog owners whose dogs had suffered or died after taking Rimadyl® (the ‘miracle drug’ for arthritis heavily advertised by Pfizer). Jean Townsend’s dog rapidly deteriorated after taking Rimadyl and he had to be euthanized. The lawsuit alleged that Pfizer Inc. knew about the adverse side effects and did little to communicate them to pet owners.  See Pfizer Settles Rimadyl Lawsuit



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