The dangers of human products


Adverse effects occurring with aspirin include gastro-intestinal disturbance, peptic ulceration and gastro-intestinal bleeding. Other less frequent adverse effects to aspirin include headache, skin rash, oedema, blurred vision, hypersensitivity, thrombocytopenia, abnormal liver function and impaired renal function.


The most commonly observed adverse events are gastrointestinal in nature. Peptic ulcers, perforation or GI bleeding, sometimes fatal, particularly in the elderly, may occur (see section 4.4). Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, flatulence, constipation, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, melaena, haematemesis, ulcerative stomatitis, exacerbation of colitis and Crohn’s disease (see section 4.4 –Special warnings and precautions for use) have been reported following administration. Less frequently, gastritis has been observed. Gastrointestinal blood losses leading to anaemia have been reported with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin.


Oedema, hypertension and cardiac failure have been reported in association with NSAID treatment. Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular effects: Clinical trial and epidemiological data suggest that use of some NSAIDs (particularly at high doses and in long term treatment) may be associated with a small increased risk of arterial thrombotic events (for example myocardial infarction or stroke) (see section 4.4).

Skin reactions:

Bullous reactions including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis (very rare).

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, may precipitate bronchospasm, rhinitis or urticaria or induce attacks of asthma in susceptible subjects.

Isolated cases of liver (increased transaminases) and kidney dysfunction and severe skin reactions have been described.


In humans and other animals, silver accumulates in the body. Chronic intake of silver products can result in an accumulation of silver or silver sulfide particles in the skin. These particles in the skin darken with exposure to sunlight, resulting in a blue or gray discoloration of the skin known as argyria. Localized argyria can occur as a result of topical use of silver-containing solutions, while generalized argyria results from the ingestion of such substances.

Argyria is generally irreversible, with the only practical method of minimizing its cosmetic disfigurement being to avoid the sun. Preliminary reports of treatment with laser therapy have been reported. These laser treatments are painful and general anesthesia is required. A similar laser treatment has been used to clear silver particles from the eye, a condition related to argyria called argyrosis. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) describes argyria as a “cosmetic problem”.

While argyria is usually limited to skin discoloration, there are isolated reports of more serious neurologic, renal, or hepatic complications caused by ingesting colloidal silver.

Colloidal silver may interact with some prescription medications, reducing the absorption of some antibiotics and thyroxine among others.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Mar 17;(3):CD006478. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006478.pub2. Topical silver for preventing wound infection. Storm-Versloot MN1, Vos CG, Ubbink DT, Vermeulen H.

BACKGROUND: Silver-containing treatments are popular and used in wound treatments to combat a broad spectrum of pathogens, but evidence of their effectiveness in preventing wound infection or promoting healing is lacking. OBJECTIVES: To establish the effects of silver-containing wound dressings and topical agents in preventing wound infection and healing of wounds. CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence to establish whether silver-containing dressings or topical agents promote wound healing or prevent wound infection; some poor quality evidence for SSD suggests the opposite.

The use of colloidal silver for medicinal purposes has been banned in the USA.  Should you constantly administer an antibiotic agent to your animal it will not respond to proper antibiotics when desperately needed.


Dettol is the trade name for a line of hygiene products manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser. It has been in use since before the 1950s.

The original Dettol liquid antiseptic and disinfectant is light yellow in colour in the concentrated form but, as several of the ingredients are insoluble in water, it produces a milky emulsion of oil droplets when diluted with water, exhibiting the ouzo effect.

The active ingredient in Dettol that confers its antiseptic property is chloroxylenol (C8H9ClO), an aromatic chemical compound. Chloroxylenol comprises 4.8% of Dettol’s total admixture with the rest made up by pine oil, isopropanol, castor oil, soap and water.

In Australia, Dettol spray has been shown to be lethal to cane toads, an invasive species that was introduced from Hawaii, as a result of bad judgment, in 1935. It had been hoped that the amphibian would control the cane beetle but it became highly destructive within the ecosystem. Spraying the disinfectant at close range has been shown to cause rapid death to toads. It is not known whether the toxins are persistent or whether they harm other Australian flora and fauna.

Owing to concerns over potential harm to other Australian wildlife species, the use of Dettol as an agent for pest control was banned in Western Australia by the Department of Environment and Conservation in 2011.

Dettol is toxic to many animals, especially cats. Dettol contains phenols. Phenols are of particular concern because cats are unable to eliminate the toxins following ingestion. A cat may swallow the product by licking his paws after they have come into contact with it.

JEYES FLUID – “safety data sheet”

11 Toxicological information inhalation: May cause irritation to the respiratory system.  Harmful if swallowed.  Harmful in contact with skin.  May cause sensitisation by skin contact.  Irritating to eyes.  Pregnant or breastfeeding women must not handle this product. For external use only.

Risk phrases in full:

R11 Highly flammable.

R21/22 Harmful in contact with skin and if swallowed.

R24/25 Toxic in contact with skin and if swallowed.

R36 Irritating to eyes.

R38 Irritating to skin.

R41 Risk of serious damage to eyes.

R43 May cause sensitisation by skin contact.

R50 Very toxic to aquatic organisms.

R67 Vapours may cause drowsiness and dizziness.

From the Jeyes Fluid website



Skin rashes and other allergic reactions may occur. The rash is usually erythematous or urticarial but sometimes more serious and may be accompanied by fever and mucosal lesions. The use of paracetamol has been associated with the occurrence of neutropenia, pancytopenia and leucopenia.


Codeine may be habit forming. Codeine may cause nausea, vomiting, constipation, drowsiness, confusion, dry mouth, sweating, facial flushing, vertigo, bradycardia, palpitations, orthostatic hypotension, hypothermia, restlessness, change of mood and miosis. Micturition may be difficult and there may be ureteric or biliary spasm. Raised intracranial pressure may occur. Reactions such as urticaria and pruritus may occur.

Codeine should be given with caution to patients with hypothyroidism, adrenocortical insufficiency, impaired liver function, prostatic hypertrophy or shock. It should be used with caution in patients with inflammatory or obstructive bowel disorders. The dosage should be reduced in elderly and debilitated patients.

PANADO and PARACETAMOL – deadly for cats

According to a new study, paracetamol toxicity for cats may be due to an important hepatic enzymatic deficiency in this species. Paracetamol is a potentially dangerous drug for cats. Paracetamol is an analgesic drug often used in human medicine. Most of the time, it is self-administered in order to relieve little pains without the need of a practitioners’ advice. Moreover for people, this drug seems to be really easy to use and truly efficient; therefore it appears as a reflex to give paracetamol to their pets when they undergo fever or pain. Cats are very sensitive to paracetamol: 250 mg could kill a cat.

However, what is good for us is not necessarily good for them. If most owners know that chocolate can kill a dog they often ignore that paracetamol can poison their cats. For these reasons, veterinarians regularly treat cats suffering from fever, mouth-watering, shivering, and comas: symptoms of paracetamol poisoning.

Paracetamol is specifically toxic for cat liver. Cat liver is an essential organ to filter blood and avoid cat intoxication by xenobiotics (foreign molecules in the organism). Indeed, liver drains an important part of the arterial flow and all the intestinal tract flow too. Liver cells are very rich in hepatic enzymes which permit transformations in order to store or degrade xenobiotics.

Toxicity is not a question of molecule but a question of dose, so paracetamol could be toxic for any species. However, paracetamol toxic dose are 3 to 5 times lower in cats compared with humans or dogs. According to Michael H. Court and David J. Greenblatt, from Tufts University, Boston School of Medicine “Cat half-life paracetamol is prolonged”.

This means that paracetamol is not normally eliminated by the cat metabolism. Furthermore, they noticed a significant formation of a ‘highly reactive oxidative component’ (paracetamol derivated molecule which could damage cells)/

An enzymatic deficiency is responsible for the poor paracetamol degradation. In order to study this heightened sensitivity at paracetamol, Michael H. Court and David J. Greenblatt’s team tried to model cat paracetamol metabolism. That is why they compared paracetamol degradation rapidity by hepatic enzymes in seven different species including cats. At the same time, they assessed the degradation capacity of two types of laboratory rats: a witness group and another group with a hepatic enzymatic genetical deficiency.

This study first highlighted that enzyme maximum degradation rapidity is 10-fold lower for cats than for other animals. This characteristic of the cat hepatic enzyme may be one of the major reasons of the cat’s exacerbated sensitivity to paracetamol. Rat models gave the scientists a second reason explaining this sensitivity.

Indeed rats with a deficient expression of hepatic enzyme responsible of the paracetamol degradation had the same reaction as cats in the presence of paracetamol. Thus, this rat models showed that cat paracetamol sensitivity may also be due to a lower level of expression of the cat hepatic enzyme.

Human drugs are not directly transposable to veterinary medicine. This new study explains at last an aspect of the cat paracetamol intoxication biological origin. This article will permit the veterinarians to explain more clearly to their clients why they can’t give paracetamol to their cats. Moreover, Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs also have an important toxicity for cats. So it appears very important to educate the pet owners: they should not give human drugs to their pets without asking advice of their veterinarian.

Journal reference: Biochemical Pharmacology, Vol. 53, pp. 1041-1047, 1997 Molecular basis for deficient acetaminophen glucuronidation in cats, Michael H. Court and David J. Greenblatt.

PARACETAMOL is a type of analgesic freely available from pharmacies, supermarkets and newsagents. Some animals are very sensitive to paracetamol and even very small amounts can be extremely harmful to some pets.  Veterinary Poisons Information Service > Common poisons

PERMETHRIN is an insecticide commonly found in some flea treatments available from pet shops and supermarkets. Cats are very sensitive to permethrin and even a therapeutic dose for a dog can be fatal to a cat. Some “spot-on” treatments contain very concentrated solutions of pemethrin, and can be very dangerous to cats.  Veterinary Poisons Information Service > Common poisons


Common Name: Prednis-Tab®. Drug Type: Corticosteroid. Used For: Inflammation, Cancer, Addison’s disease, Nervous system disorders. Species: Dogs, Cats. Administered: Tablets, Oral liquid, Injectable. How Dispensed: Prescription only.

Prednisone and Prednisolone are steroids that reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. They can be beneficial in treating many diseases and disorders, but should be given at low doses for short period of time to reduce any adverse effects. They may also be used to assist in treatment of Addison’s disease, cancers, shock, and nervous system disorders.

Prednisolone is a corticosteroid known as a glucocorticoid. Corticosteroids are meant to resemble a naturally occurring hormone produced in the adrenal cortex, cortisol. Corticosteroids act on the immune system by blocking the production of substances that trigger inflammatory and immune responses.

In your pet’s liver, prednisone is converted to prednisolone. Pets with severe liver problems are not able to make this conversion, and many believe that these pets should only be given prednisolone. Storage Information: Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.

It is important that you do not miss any doses of this drug and you should give it at about the same time every day at even intervals. If you do miss a dose, give the dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose, and continue with the regular schedule. Do not give the pet two doses at once.

Side Effects and Drug Reactions:

  • Increased drinking and urination
  • Altered behaviour
  • Inhibited growth in young pets
  • Diabetes after prolonged use
  • Cushing’s disease after prolonged use
  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Ulceration of the digestive tract
  • Lethargy
  • Aggression
  • Delayed healing

Prednisone/Prednisolone may react with these drugs: Rimadyl (or any other NSAID), Antacids, Anticoagulants, Other steroids, Some antibiotics, Drugs that may cause ulcers in the digestive tract, Vaccines. DO NOT GIVE THIS DRUG TO PREGNANT OR DIABETIC PETS. 

Source: PetMD

TERRAMYCIN for dogs and cats

Terramycin is used to fight bacterial infections in dogs such as tooth problems, infections caused by wounds, sinuses, pneumonia, eye infections and Lyme disease. It is very effective against bacteria and is used on animals such as dogs, cats and horses.

Terramycin is the brand name for a drug known as oxytetracycline and the main ingredients it contains are oxytetracycline and polymixin B. Oxytetracycline and polymixin B inhibit the production of proteins responsible for eye infections. This inhibition speeds the healing process of corneal infections, inflamed eyelids and pink eyes.

The Use of Terramycin in Dogs

Terramycin is available in capsule form, as a powder and as an eye ointment. It should only be administered as prescribed by the vet. As a pet owner, you should watch for signs and symptoms that show that Terramycin is not well tolerated by your pet. Such symptoms include:

  • raised bumps on the skin
  • continual itching
  • biting of the feet

If you find any symptoms of an allergy to Terramycin, you should discontinue the medication immediately and notify the vet at the earliest.

Side Effects of Terramycin:

  • Permanent yellowing of teeth when administered to puppies
  • Loss of appetite
  • Digestive problems
  • Kidney problems that can escalate to failure of the kidneys
  • Severe allergic reaction such as itching and biting
  • Small bumps on the skin
  • Liver problems that can escalate to liver failure

Precautions You Must Take

Terramycin kills bacteria and is not discriminatory in nature. Hence, good bacteria that are present in your pet’s digestive tract are also killed by Terramycin. It’s essential to administer probiotics along with or after the treatment with Terramycin to restore bacterial balance in your pet’s body.

There is also the risk of drug interaction when Terramycin is administered with antacids. Besides this, Terramycin should not be administered to dogs that haven’t got their permanent teeth and dogs that are pregnant.

When using Terramycin from the tube, it’s important that the tip of the tube does not come into contact with any other surface other than your pet’s eye. Although Terramycin is very effective against bacterial infections, it has the potential to cause adverse side effects. It should therefore be applied only as prescribed by the vet.

Oxytetracycline, also known by the names Terramycin® or Liquamycin®, is an antibiotic that inhibits bacteria by suppressing protein synthesis and growth in dogs and cats. Oxytetracycline belongs to a general class of drugs known as tetracyclines. Other related drugs in this class include doxycycline, tetracycline and minocycline.

Oxytetracycline is effective against a wide range of bacteria as well as one-celled (protozoa) organisms. It is effective against bacteria that infect the eyes, oral cavity, bone, respiratory tract, sinuses and blood cells. Oxytetracycline is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.

This drug is not approved for use in animals other than livestock by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

Oxytetracycline is used in both dogs and cats to treat bacterial infections, including respiratory infections of the sinuses, wound infections, pneumonia, infections of the oral cavity and infections of the blood cells.

Tetracyclines are considered the drug of choice for blood cell and tick-borne infections in dogs such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and feline infectious anaemia (hemobartonellosis). However, the most common first choice for these infections is doxycycline. Oxytetracycline also has been used to treat protozoa infections (one-celled organisms) in animals. It is also used to treat conjunctivitis, particularly in cats.

Oxytetracycline is not effective against infections caused by parasites (intestinal worms), mites, viruses or fungi.

Precautions and Side Effects

While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, oxytetracycline can cause side effects in some animals.

Oxytetracycline should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug. Should be used with caution in pets with liver or kidney (renal) disease.  At high doses, oxytetracycline may decrease appetite and cause stomach and intestine problems.

Oxytetracycline may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with oxytetracycline. Such drugs include oral antacids.

Oxytetracycline and other tetracyclines can discolour the teeth in young animals. Do not administer until the adult teeth have fully erupted.

High doses of oxytetracycline can cause kidney injury. Oxytetracycline should be avoided in pregnant animals as liver problems may occur.

Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian. The usual dose is 10 mg per pound (20 mg/kg) every 12 hours orally in both dogs and cats. The usual injection dose is 5 mg per pound (10 mg/kg) every 24 hours intramuscularly. The eye ointment formulation is applied to the eyes three to four times daily. The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or prevent the development of resistance.

Your animal’s health begins with the quality and health of the bacteria and microbes and enzymes within their digestive systems.  Any product given, albeit antibacterial or antibiotic, which limits the workings of these enzymes and/or disrupts the same, places your animal’s health at risk.  Antibacterial and/or antibiotic products cannot distinguish between ‘good’ and ’bad’ organisms.  Read the word “Anti” herein.

For information purposes only and not to be used as any source of reference.

Pierre van Niekerk © 2015

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