Understanding and Treating Cough Drop Toxicity in Pets
When a pet owner tells you their dog or cat has ingested cough drops, the first thing you should do is check the ingredient list, according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
Most cough drops contain sugar, menthol, eucalyptus oil, colors and flavors—all ingredients that may cause gastrointestinal upset. In addition, though, the drops can create more serious consequences.
Xylitol, Benzocaine Dangers
It’s becoming more and more common for xylitol to be found in cough drops. Xylitol can cause hypoglycemia and possible liver injury depending on the amount present in the cough drops and how many were ingested.
Since it’s a local anesthetic, benzocaine will numb the throat when swallowed or the mouth if chewed. This can pose a risk for aspiration, particularly in those patients that may be more susceptible to aspiration.
Obstruction may be a concern as well, depending on the number of drops ingested, the size of the pet and whether wrappers were also ingested.