How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28499
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I dropped a 6.25 extended release ambien, I don't know if my

Customer Question

I dropped a 6.25 extended release ambien, I don't know if my boston terrier eat it. Can it hurt him if he did?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

It can but toxicity is unpredictable with this drug.

We can see toxicity at 0.1mg/kg or approximately 1 mg for a 10 kg (22 lb) Boston. 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 him with 5 mL (one measuring teaspoon) per 5 lbs of body weight 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

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
thank you. I will do that. I am not certain that he eat it. So far he is behaving normally. I don't have hydrogen peroxide. Is there something else I can use?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

No, unfortunately there's nothing else safe enough to induce emesis. Syrup of ipecac has been discontinued and salt caused too much poisoning in its own right! If he's remained normal for an hour, it's likely that he didn't ingest the Ambien. Signs developed within an hour as mentioned above in that retrospective study.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He is, he is having his normal behaviour for this time of night. and it has been about an hour. I will stay up and monitor. Or maybe I'll take him to the emergency vet.thank you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

It sounds as if staying up with him for another hour will suffice. The kicker is that ER (extended release) drugs are unpredictably absorbed by dogs. Use your best judgement. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.