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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 23781
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I'm not sure if my dog just ate a 10 MG ambien, Great Dane

Customer Question

I'm not sure if my dog just ate a 10 MG ambien
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if your dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Great Dane puppy 30 lbs, Clifford
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Clifford?
Customer: Not even sure he ate it
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

Ambien (zolpidem) can be toxic at doses as little as 0.05 mg/lb but it's unpredictable. Clifford would have ingested 10 mg/30 lbs or 0.33 mg/lb. This is also pertinent in respect to the thorough review I posted below. Here's a quick synopsis for you:

Symptoms are usually mild to moderate but can include the following:

Severe sedation

Severe agitation









Walking drunk

Respiratory or cardiovascular depression

I recommend inducing emesis by dosing Clifford with 2 measuring tablespoons (30 mL) of 3%hydrogen peroxide by means of a small poultry baster placed between his cheek teeth and cheek. He should vomit within 15 minutes particularly if fed a slice of bread prior to dosing. If he doesn’t vomit, you should repeat the same dose.

Here’s a thorough review of this intoxication:

J Vet Intern Med. 2002 Mar-Apr;16(2):208-10.

Clinical syndrome associated with zolpidem ingestion in dogs: 33 cases (January 1998-July 2000).

Richardson JA, Gwaltney-Brant SM, Albretsen JC, Khan SA, Porter JA.

Source: ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, IL, USA.***@******.***


Zolpidem is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic of the imidazopyridine class that is used to treat insomnia in humans. Zolpidem binds selectively to the benzodiazepine omega-1 receptor and increases the frequency of chloride channel opening, which results in inhibition of neuronal excitation. A retrospective study was conducted of zolpidem ingestion in dogs that were reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) between January 1998 and July 2000. Data analysis included amount ingested, clinical effects, and time of onset of signs. Thirty-three reports of zolpidem ingestion in dogs (ranging in age from 5 months to 16 years) were evaluated. Approximate ingested dosages ranged from 0.24 to 21 mg/kg. Clinical signs reported included ataxia (18 dogs; 54.5%), hyperactivity (10 dogs; 30.3%), vomiting (7 dogs; 21.2%), and lethargy (5 dogs; 15.2%), as well as panting, disorientation, nonspecific behavior disorder, and hypersalivation (4 dogs each sign; 12.1%). Other signs reported include tachycardia, tremors, apprehension, vocalization, hypersalivation, weakness, and hyperesthesia. In 85% percent of reports, clinical signs developed within 1 hour and usually resolved within 12 hours. Although central nervous system (CNS) depression is reported as a primary effect of zolpidem in humans and would also be expected in dogs, information obtained from this study indicates that some dogs may exhibit a paradoxical excitation reaction. This effect appears to vary among individual dogs.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin

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