Arthritis and Taking Medication

taking medications photo

Could you be putting someone you love at risk when you take your medication?

Many people have a variety of medications to treat one or more medical issues. Often those with arthritis or lack of feeling in their hands due to other medical issues (sometimes even a side effect of medications) can’t easily grasp or feel these pills in their hands; which could be cause for a catastrophe in your home!

Pets and children at risk for eating dropped medications

Recently, a vet tech from the Pittsburgh Veterinary Emergency Center told us that they see dogs of every size coming into their ER who have eaten dropped or unattended medicines. What may seem like a harmless medication for humans can often be lethal for dogs; especially smaller sized dogs.

When Medication Is Accidentally Dropped

  • Pills can be left, kicked around & not found for days or weeks; leaving an open opportunity for it to get into the wrong person or animal
  • Animals (both dogs & cats) can immediately jump to the item they see dropped & swallow it before you even figure out what the pill may be
  • Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and other over the counter medications can be lethal to animals
  • Often one or more pills are dropped without notice, leaving the question “what was the medication the animal swallowed & how do we treat the animal without knowing what was swallowed?”
  • Children can find medication lying on the floor & think it is candy, quickly swallowing it without thought
  • Even a house that gets vacuumed often can have a pill that slips just under a piece of furniture, leaving the possibility for a child or animal to find at a later date
  • Many medications have the opposite effect on animals than they do on humans; for example Xanax is used to calm a person, while with dogs it will have the opposite affect & could cause them to get so excited and hyper that they could suffer a heart attack
  • It’s not uncommon for those who suffer from arthritic issues or aches & pains to get their prescriptions without childproof tops but sometimes it’s not “children” who can get into these containers easily. Often a dog or cat can quickly paw open the lid of a container and ingest its contents before we even realize it’s missing

How To Help Prevent Children & Animals From Getting Medication

One of the best ways to avoid the possibility of young children and pets from being able to accidentally ingest medications is to have someone help you with each dosage. Bringing in someone to dispense your medications into a pill holder and then making sure you take them without accidentally dropping any could save the life of someone you love.

  • Get help placing your pills in proper containers for the week. You can ask friends or family or hire a caregiver to help.
  • Purchase Dispenser Pill packs like these that are meant for taking the pills directly from the bottle or even disposable mini cups (with lids) that aren’t actually created for pill dispensing but do the same thing for much less! This helps reduce the risk of dropping the pills because of lack of feeling or ability to grasp with your hands by allowing you to put the cups to your lips and take in the pills.
  • Place animals in pet carriers or another room while taking medication by hand, until you are sure there are none that were dropped or on your body (hidden in the crease of clothing etc.) that can drop when you stand up.

It comes down to understanding that medication is important to keeping yourself healthy while often being a danger to those who shouldn’t be taking it. You don’t want to take the chance of losing your fur baby or any young visitors due to something that can easily be avoided.

We want you to be able to age safely while staying at home and do so while enjoying your animals and visitors. Don’t let arthritis or lack of feeling in your hands make your home unsafe for the ones you love.


Photo by trekkyandy