Toxic Signs? Acute Onset?
Drug Tests May Provide Important Clues
Veterinarians 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 recently published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (see reference below) has loaned some credence to the use of these tests 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 Mar-Apr;45(2):59-66. (View Abstract)
*Important Disclaimer: 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.