Toxic Signs? Acute Onset?
Drug Tests May Provide Important Clues
are occasionally presented with pets exhibiting a variety
of non-specific signs suggestive of toxicity. Such symptoms may
include but are not limited to lethargy, ataxia,
tachycardia, or seizures. While there are a myriad of
potential causes to be considered, ingestion of
pharmaceuticals found in and around the home as well as drugs of abuse should be considered in the differential
diagnosis. This is especially true in cases of acute onset.
Quick urine screens for pharmaceuticals and abuse drugs are used routinely in
human emergency rooms. While data regarding the application of human
drug screening methods to pets is sparse, some clinicians have incorporated
these tests on
an empirical basis into their diagnostic workup for animals
presented with acute signs such as described. A small study
published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association
(see reference below) has loaned some credence to the use of these
with certain commonly encountered drugs.
Our easy to use one-step drug tests are
available in a variety of configurations from single drug tests to
10 in 1 multi-drug panels.
(See complete listing of
drugs.) Pricing starts at less than 1.50/test .
Please call for more information.
Teitler, JB: Evaluation of a human on-site
urine multidrug test for emergency use with dogs. JAAHA 2009
These tests have
been manufactured and approved for use as a screening device for
humans and have not yet been validated in animals. While there is
evidence suggesting clinical usefulness in animals, the clinical
application of these test methods should still be considered experimental and veterinarians
should employ them only as an adjunct to good professional judgment.