Vick’s Vaporub and Dogs: A Toxic Combination?

It's a well-known fact that dogs are our furry friends, but sometimes we may forget they are not immune to everything. Some medications that may be harmless to humans can cause adverse reactions in our pups. One such medication is Vick's VapoRub.


The Purr-fect Remedy for Humans

Vick's VapoRub has been around since the early 1900s, originally invented as a cough suppressant and topical analgesic for human use (1). It contains several active ingredients known for their therapeutic benefits, including camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol.

The aromatic scent of Vick’s VapoRub can do wonders when it comes to clearing out chest congestion or relieving headaches with just one sniff (2).

You might've even used it as an ointment on your skin when you had a cold or even applied some under your nose so you could breathe more comfortably while sleeping through the night.

But did you know that this miracle cure isn't suitable for dogs' health? Let's discuss the reasons why in detail below!

Why Is Vick’s Not Safe For Dogs?

While there have been no documented cases of fatality from using leftover vapour rub cream directly over dog fur/ skin (3) - this does not mean owners should ignore signs of trouble after applying vapor rub.

Here is why:

#1 – Ingestion Hazard

One of the most significant dangers posed by applying Vicks to dogs is ingestion (4). Canines often lick any area where ointments may be applied during grooming sessions, making them vulnerable due to contact with harmful substances like petroleum products containing essential oils found in vapor rubs like Camphor & Menthol which are toxic if swallowed /licked off from furiness/ingested via small wounds.

#2 – Dermatitis

Another potential issue is skin irritation or dermatitis, an inflammatory allergic reaction caused by direct contact of vapor rub with a dog's skin (5). This could cause itchiness, swelling or even rashes on their paw area and sometimes the fur around the applied area can turn dry & brittle.

#3 – Respiratory Issues

Camphor in small concentrations has excellent healing properties for humans (6), but inhaling too much camphor inevitably results in respiratory distress[1][^]. Since dogs' lung capacity is less than that of humans (7)-dogs have more trouble breathing when exposed to fumes resulting from a bath/irrespective of topical application — which could lead to difficulty gasping for air (8).

The strong odour associated with Vick’s VapoRub makes it possible for an astute canine to detect it even at tiny quantities; hence they might try sniffing up close, which can be bad news if enough chemicals are present in one applicated area (9). Ultimately this would result in similar symptoms related to wheezing, coughs as well as congestion experienced by us human shumans out there winks

What Should You Do If Your Dog Accidentally Ingests Vick’s?

Suppose you believe your furry friend has ingested some Vick's VapoRub inadvertently. Don't stress; we've got you covered! Here are some essential tips that may come handy:

  • Immediately consult your veterinarian!
  • Keep products like hydrogen peroxide where your pet cannot reach otherwise instructed by a vet.
  • Try inducing vomiting - only under veterinary guidance
  • Only induce vomiting under veterinary direction
    • When surrounded with plenty ventilation
    • By administering medication such as Apomorphine Hydrochloride Injection/Via Oral route.

Don't let our four-legged friends suffer the consequences of ingesting substances meant for human consumption, take immediate precautionary measures to keep them safe and healthy (10).

What Alternatives Do You Have For Treating Your Dog?

We understand how easy it is to run towards Vick's when you see your furball struggling with that pesky cold. However, we do have some alternatives that are safer for your beloved.

#1 – Use a Humidifier

A humidifier provides soothing moisture in the air which helps dogs breathe more easily by breaking up mucus build-up in their respiratory tract. Not only this but also help keeps skin moisturized which lowers risks of dry flaky-skinned scenarios leading to dermatitis or rashes (11).

#2 – Steam Therapy

Another solution is offering steam therapy where you can put your dog into a steamy bathroom or use personal devices like Nebulizers/Diffusers designed specifically that operate on low/virtually silent sound propagations while cleansing nasal passages concomitantly (12).

#3 – Consult The Local Vet

Sometimes a vet might prescribe medication suited to treat specific symptoms depending upon various factors such as:

  • Medical history
  • Age
  • Ailment Severity
  • Weight etcetera…

Hence If our fluffy friends encounter health issues, don't be hesitant just head straight for professional guidance from an experienced veterinarian!

In conclusion - although Vick’s VapoRub has supportive uses related towards humans' sinus woes, coughs & relieves stress, its potential dangers outweigh its benefits concerning furry friends like puppies. It poses health hazards ranging from accidental ingestion and vomiting to even inhalation-induced respiratory malaise.

Therefore neglecting any alarming symptoms after rubbing vapor cream on pet area should certainly not be left unnoticed! In search of alternatives? Why not consider investing in proper monitoring devices which ensure harmless practices through effective humidification & steam therapy for your pets. Stay aware and keep our furballs safe!

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