Posts in toxicity
Paracetamol for the management of pain in dogs

Paracetamol is one of the most commonly-used drugs worldwide. It is available to buy over the counter for humans, and for dogs (as Pardale-V tablets, which contain paracetamol together with codeine). However, there is a lot of confusion about the efficacy and safety of paracetamol in dogs. For example, is paracetamol a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)? Is it safe to use with NSAIDs in dogs as it is in people? This module summarises the published evidence on the use of paracetamol in dogs and relates it to the treatment of acute and chronic pain in practice. It is important to note that paracetamol should never be used in cats.

By doing this module you will:

  • understand the current knowledge on the pharmacology of paracetamol

  • know the clinical evidence on the safety and efficacy of paracetamol in dogs

  • find out how the information provided with veterinary licensed forms of paracetamol relates to the evidence

  • understand how the evidence informs the practical use of paracetamol.

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Metronidazole neurotoxicity

Neurotoxicity is a recognised adverse effect of metronidazole, an antimicrobial used in cats and dogs to treat a variety of conditions. By doing this module you will:

  • Be aware of how metronidazole neurotoxicity can present in practice.

  • Understand what is known about the relationship between metronidazole dose and neurotoxicity.

  • Be aware of how to reduce the risk of neurotoxicity developing.

  • Know what you can do if it presents in practice.

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Lipid emulsion in the management of toxicity

Intravenous lipid emulsion is increasingly being used as an adjunct in the management of toxicity caused by lipophilic drugs that are cardiotoxic (e.g. bupivacaine) or neurotoxic (e.g. permethrin). The Veterinary Poisons Information Service recommends that intravenous lipid emulsion be considered for any animal at risk of serious toxicity after exposure to a lipophilic compound (VPIS 2017). This module summarises what is known about this treatment, the uncertainties, and the practical aspects of using it. 

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Tea Tree Oil in companion animals

Tea tree oil is widely advocated as a home remedy for skin infections and for controlling flea infestations. Vets may therefore see animals that have been treated with tea tree oil, or owners might ask for advice about its use. This module sets out the evidence on the benefits and harms of tea tree oil in companion animals, and describes what can be done if tea tree oil has caused harm to a pet.

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