When it comes to pets, potential danger could be lurking just around the corner, and you may not even know it.
With all of us gathered at home, it’s important to remind ourselves of some of the common pet poisons in our homes. Thomas F. Dock, Director of Communications/Public Information Office, Noah’s Animal Hospitals, tells us more.
Common Pet Poisons (2019)
1) Over-the-counter medications:
a. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen, and naproxen are common reasons for calls to the animal poison control centers. These human medications are not often used in veterinary medicine and can be dangerous or even fatal to our pets.
b. A single extra strength Tylenol tablet can kill a cat!
c. While pet parents are often well-intentioned and trying to help alleviate discomfort for their pet, this practice can lead to an unexpected pet emergency!
2) Prescription Medications for People
a. Whether it’s our own medications for pain, an antidepressant, or blood pressure drugs, our pets see us taking these pills each day. It’s not surprising that they then take the opportunity to “pounce” on a dropped pill or tablet.
b. These medications can cause vomiting, affect blood pressure and heart rate, or cause seizures.
3) “People” food
a. Even though many of us share what’s on our plate or even cook for our pets, there are a few foods to avoid…
b. Chocolates, onions and garlic, foods with xylitol, macadamia nuts, avocados, and grapes and raisins are just a few of the foods we need to NOT give to our pets.
4) Veterinary Prescription and Over the Counter products for pets
a. In order to help facilitate giving medications, many of our prescription drugs for pets are flavored in some way. This, however, can lead to an unintentional overdose when Fluffy decides to eat ALL of her pain relief medication in one sitting!
b. Flea and tick products are not all FDA regulated and some of the over the counter options can be dangerous if used on the wrong pet (i.e. dog product used on a cat)
5) Household Products
a. Products like bleach, antifreeze, paint thinner, and chemicals for pools show up consistently in reports from animal poison control. While we don’t know WHY our pets like many of these products, keeping them stored safely away from pets is key!
a. Both indoor and outdoor plants can be troublesome for our furry friends. Cats should avoid any contact with plants in the lily family and sago palms can cause liver failure in our canine companions. Avoid tulip bulbs, daffodils, azaleas, and rhododendroms.
7) Keep your pet safe, but if accidents occur…
a. Have both your veterinarian’s office number as well as the closest animal emergency facility handy. Refrigerator magnets are GREAT for this!
b. Consider calling either the ASPCA’s Pet Poison Control line (888-426-4435) or Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) on your way to the veterinary office.
i. By calling first, you will get a case number and the consultant may be able to tell you if you even need to make a trip into the ER.
ii. If you do need to go, give the case number to the attending veterinarian or staff. They will then be able to access the case more quickly and ensure prompt care for your furry friend.
iii. Both of these services charge for this phone call.
c. Realize that your veterinarian or the emergency clinician may not have dealt with specific poisons in pets, so this phone call could truly be life-saving.
To learn more, visit www.noahshospitals.com.