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

Illicit Drugs

Illicit Drugs, such as heroin and cocaine are dangerous drugs that should not be used in animals. These, along with other opiates, amphetamines, and opioids, can cause severe toxicity when administered to pets. Because these drugs can cause death to your pet, transparency with your veterinary is important.

Signs and symptoms of toxicity: depression and fatigue (dogs), excitation and aggressiveness (cats), involuntary muscle movements, seizures, increased production of saliva, vomiting, defecation (dogs), constipation (cats), changes in urination (dramatic increase or decrease), decreased heart rate, increased panting and dramatic changes in pupil size.

Toxic consumption:
An injection of heroin of 25 mg/kg is considered lethal in dogs. In cats, 20 mg/kg of an oral dose is considered lethal. The lethal dose of cocaine in dogs is roughly 6-12 mg/kg.

Dogs: Opioids and Opiates Lethal Consumption
Yorkie, Chihuahua
Pug, Boston Terrier, Poodle
Beagle, Scottish Terrier
Boxer, Cocker Spaniel
Retriever, German Shepherd
Great Dane, St. Bernard
1 – 10 lbs.
(0.45 – 4.6 kg)
11 – 25 lbs.
(5 – 11.4 kg)
26 – 40 lbs.
(11.8 – 18.2 kg)
41 – 70 lbs.
(18.6 – 31.8 kg)
71 – 90 lbs.
(32.3 – 40.9 kg)
91 – 110 lbs.
(41.4 – 50 kg)
dog1 dog2 dog3 dog4 dog7 dog6
Heroin (SQ) > 11 mg > 124 mg > 294 mg > 464 mg > 807 mg > 1034 mg


Cats: Opioids and Opiates Lethal Consumption
Most Cats Large Cats
1 – 10 lbs.
(0.45 – 4.6 kg)
11 – 25 lbs.
(5 – 11.4 kg)
cat1 fat cat
Heroin (oral) > 8 mg > 99 mg

– Malouin A, Boiler M. Sedatives, muscle relaxants, and opiods toxicity. In: Silverstein DC, Hopper K, eds. Small Animal Critical Care Medicine. St. Louis: Elsevier, 2009; pp.350-356.
– Osweiler, G, et al. (2011). Blackwell’s five-minute veterinary consult clinical companion. Small Animal Toxicology. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
– image: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/imglib/Drugprofiles/350Heroin.jpg

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