Acetaminophen, often referred to as Tylenol, is a staple in many households to treat a variety of ailments. This medication can cause toxicity to your pets and should always be kept out of your animals’ reach.

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Cats are unable to metabolize acetaminophen and should never be given this medication. Due to the risk of toxicity, dogs should only be given this medication under veterinary guidance.

It is important to note that acetaminophen may be present in multi-symptom cold and allergy products. All accidental ingestions of these medications should be reported immediately.

Ferrets are also indicated for this toxicity.

Signs and symptoms of toxicity: Clinical signs of toxicity include weakness, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, blue/purple discoloration of skin or mucous membranes, jaundice, vomiting, significant decrease in body temperature, and facial or paw swelling.

Toxic consumption: For dogs, 100 mg/kg (45 mg/lb) may cause toxicity. That value drops to just 10 mg/kg (4.5 mg/lb) in cats.

Dogs: Acetaminophen Toxic Consumption
X-Small
Yorkie, Chihuahua
Small
Pug, Boston Terrier, Poodle
Medium
Beagle, Scottish Terrier
Large
Boxer, Cocker Spaniel
X-Large
Retriever, German Shepherd
XX-Large
Great Dane, St. Bernard
1 – 10 lbs.
(0.45 – 4.6 kg)
11 – 25 lbs.
(5 – 11.4 kg)
26 – 40 lbs.
(11.8 – 18.2 kg)
41 – 70 lbs.
(18.6 – 31.8 kg)
71 – 90 lbs.
(32.3 – 40.9 kg)
91 – 110 lbs.
(41.4 – 50 kg)
dog1 dog2 dog3 dog4 dog7 dog6
> 44 mg > 499 mg > 1179 mg > 1859 mg > 3229 mg > 4139 mg

 

Cats: Acetaminophen Toxic Consumption
Most Cats

Large Cats
1 – 10 lbs.
(0.45 – 4.6 kg)
11 – 25 lbs.
(5 – 11.4 kg)
cat1 fat cat
> 4.4 mg > 49 mg

 
References:
– Alwood AJ. Acetaminophen. In: Silverstein DC and K Hopper, eds. Small Animal Critical Care Medicine. St. Louis: Saunders, 2009.
– Osweiler, G, et al. (2011). Blackwell’s five-minute veterinary consult clinical companion. Small Animal Toxicology. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com