If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or one of the other resources listed:
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435
• Pet Poison Helpline® 24-hour animal poison control service at (855) 764-7661


Balcofen is a human medication used as a skeletal muscle relaxant. It can be used to control spasticity and pain in humans, and off-label in dogs to treat urinary retention.  It can be fatal to cats and dogs due to its narrow margin of safety, so small amounts of drug cause severe poisoning.

Signs and symptoms of toxicity: vocalization, walking “drunk”, increased saliva production, severe sedation, agitation, slow heart rate, low blood pressure, very low body temperature, tremors, seizures, difficulty breathing, or death. Onset of clinical signs after overdoses can occur from 15 minutes to 7 hours after ingestion and can persist for hours to days.

Toxic consumption: There are no established lethal doses in dogs, but per the ASPCA APCC database, deaths in dogs have occurred at doses estimated to be between 8 and 16 mg/kg. However oral overdoses have been reported at doses as low as 1.3 mg/kg.


– Baclofen. In Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs. Tulsa (OK): Education Concepts, LLC [updated 7/17; accessed 8/20/19]. http://www.plumbsveterinarydrugs.com/#!/monograph/X3Rk0Gxa3y.      

– Hecht DV, Allenspach K. Presumptive Baclofen Intoxication in a Dog. J Vet Emerg Crit Care 1998; 8:49-54.

– Osweiler, G, et al. (2011). Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion. Small Animal Toxicology. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com                                         

– Baclofen. In Pet Posion Helpline. [updated 1/19; accessed 8/20/19]. https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/baclofen/ 

Pet Poison Control is provided free as a public service by the American College of Veterinary Pharmacists. Today we’re asking you to support us with a small donation. If you would like to dedicate your gift in honor or memory of a pet or individual, you will have that option before checkout. Your gift of any amount helps us maintain this resource and make it available to the pharmacy and veterinary communities. Thank you!