HEAT CREAMS, RUBS, BALMS & LINIMENTS

heat-creams

HEAT CREAMS, RUBS, BALMS & LINIMENTS

heat-creams

The Animal Poisons Helpline is frequently contacted about companion animals that have ingested products containing salicylates. Such compounds are frequently incorporated into medicines and include aspirin, methyl salicylate (commonly found in topical medications including heat rubs, arthritis creams and gels, liniments and oil of wintergreen) and choline salicylate (used in teething gels). Salicylate compounds may also be found in some sunscreens. Many of these products also contain additional ingredients such as menthol or camphor, which can carry additional risks when ingested.

Both cats and dogs are sensitive to poisoning from salicylates. The risk is highly dependent on the species of animal, the type of salicylate involved and of course the amount ingested. Affected animals may start vomiting (sometimes with blood in the vomit) and having diarrhoea. Other clinical signs may include inappetence, lethargy, fever and panting at rest. In more severe cases, liver injury and neurological signs such as seizures (which may progress to coma and death if left untreated) can occur.

To prevent poisoning in companion animals:

✅ Ensure all medications including gels, ointments and sunscreens are stored well out of reach of pets. Do not leave medications on tables or nightstands where your pet can reach them.

✅ Never administer human medicines to your pet unless specifically directed to do so by a veterinarian.

✅ Do not let pets lick skin that has recently been treated with heat rubs or other medical creams or ointments.

The Animal Poisons Helpline provides free advice to pet owners in Australia and New Zealand and can be reached on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ). If you don’t already follow the Animal Poisons Helpline Facebook page, follow now to receive live animal poisons alerts and updates. If you are a member of a veterinary team in Australia or New Zealand, you can join the Animal Poisons Centre For Vets Facebook group which is regularly updated with toxicology tidbits and poisoning trends. We thank the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for supporting this post.