MY DOG SWALLOWED SOME BRIMONIDINE TARTRATE OPHTHALMIC 5 ML SHE IS VERY WEAK AND WOBBLELY I CALLD AROUND AND THEY WANT TO CHARGE ME $400 TO GIVE HER YOHIMBINE I DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY FOR THIS I GAVE HER MILK TO SEE IF IT WOULD HELP SHE VOMITED ABIT BUT NO CHANGE WHAT CAN I DO TO SAVE HER?
Dr. Marie replied:
Oh, I am sorry to hear that your dog is not doing well.
Brimonidine, as you likely have found out is a drug similar to amitraz (found in some flea collars, dips and sprays). It sounds like Puppy ate some glaucoma medicine called alphagen.
The following symptoms can be seen when brimonidine or amitraz are ingested:
ataxia (walking like he is drunk)
slow pulse (normal for a large dog would be about 60-100 beats per minute and for a small dog around 80-140 beats per minute)
low body temperature (normal temperature for a dog is 38-39 C or 100-102 F
The symptoms can be fatal.
Ideally, the best thing is to take her to a vet. If there is any way at all to do this then please do so!
If you can't then here are my thoughts.
Are you able to take her temperature? The best way to do this is to use a thermometer and some vaseline or ky jelly to insert rectally. If the temperature is lower than 38 C (100 F) then it may help to keep her warm by keeping her covered with a blanket.
It is likely a good thing that she has vomited. If she has eaten the toxin within the last hour or so then this will help.
There are only two antidotes for brimonidine toxicity and neither of these are available to you at home. As you know, yohimbine is one and another is a drug called atipamezole. Sometimes these drugs have to be given multiple times so this is why the cost is so expensive.
The other thing that the vet would do is to administer activated charcoal. This is a substance that will help to bind any toxin that is flowing through the digestive tract so that Puppy can't absorb it. You can ask if the vet would dispense some for you to administer at home. Or, you can call your pharmacy and see if you can get some. You will read some places online that will tell you to use the scrapings from burnt toast but really this is not going to be enough to work.
If Puppy is really weak you may not want to give activated charcoal as there is a risk of her vomiting and then aspirating (inhaling it).
I'd also like you to take her heart rate. Feel on the left side of her chest for a heart beat and count how many beats there are in a minute. If this is lower than 50 then this is a concern. The reason that this toxin can be fatal is because of the effects on the heart.
I have to emphasize again that a vet visit is really the best thing you can do.
If you can't get there...the effects of the toxin can last from 1 to 3 days. Dogs can survive without treatment, but have a much better chance with the proper treatment.
Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.
Dr. Marie replied:
By the way, I'm not sure if you have tried to reply or not. Today was the first day of my new site design and we had some bugs with the reply feature. It's fixed now.
thank you so much for replying and thanks for the tips but i gave her some milk and saltine crackers and she threw up some more and now she's back to normal thank you!!
Dr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.
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