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Cocaine Toxicity in Dogs and Cats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Poisonings
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Toxin
Cocaine

Source
Pets may gain exposure by eating bags of cocaine, sniffing the drug, or ingesting or licking drug paraphenalia such as used facial tissues.

General Information
Cocaine is an illegal street drug with a high incidence of abuse. It may be sniffed (snorted) as a powder, smoked, injected, or swallowed. It is available as a hydrochloride salt (coke, snow) or as the free-base form (crack, rock, free-base). Cocaine may contain impurities including other 'caine' anesthetics, caffeine, amphetamine, or quinine which can cause additional complications and side effects.

Toxic Dose
Varies depending on type and concentration.

Signs
Drooling, dilated pupils, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, vomiting, seizures, increased body temperature, respiratory depression, coma, and cardiac and respiratory arrest.

Immediate Action
Induce vomiting if pet ate a facial tissue or small amount. DO NOT induce vomiting if the pet ingested bag(s) of cocaine since that will increase the risk of a bag breaking. Seek veterinary attention.

Veterinary Care
General treatment: The cocaine will be removed from the stomach through the induction of vomiting, gastric lavage, endoscopy, or surgery depending on what and how much was ingested. Activated charcoal is administered.

Supportive treatment: IV fluids, oxygen, and sedation are given, if needed. Heart and lung function are monitored and abnormalities treated. Glucose levels are monitored. Chlorpromazine may be given to reduce some of the symptoms.

Specific treatment: Unavailable. Naloxone (an opiate narcotic reversal agent) may be tried as opiate narcotics are often combined with cocaine.

Prognosis
Fair to guarded.

 

Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.


If you think your pet has been poisoned...

Contact your veterinarian or one of the Animal Poison Hotlines (listed below) if you think your pet may have accidentally received or been given an overdose of the medication.

**ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center - 24-hour service available throughout North America.
www.aspca.org/apcc

1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435). $65.00 per case, billed to caller's credit card.

Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973.

There is no charge when the call involves a product covered by the Animal Product Safety Service.

**Pet Poison Helpline - 24-hour service available throughout North America for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet.

1-800-213-6680 ($59.00 per incident). Staffed 24-hours a day.

Updated 6/20/17


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