Now that summer has arrived for the whole country, your pets will be having more opportunities for exposure to poisonous substances, some outdoors and some indoors. Even though a lot of poisonings can be treated if caught early enough, it is still much better for your pets if they NEVER have the chance to be exposed. The ASPCA has been a longtime supporter of poison control for animals and they publish a lot of information on poisons and toxic materials on their web site. Questions On Dogs and Cats is devoting this whole issue to this problem and much of this information comes from that provided by the ASPCA.
By taking the time to read this material closely, pet owners should be able to make the proper decisions ahead of time in order to limit their pets' exposure risks. In addition, educating yourself ahead of time will help you to act promptly and decisively if your pet should happen to be poisoned. Helpful Buckeye suggests that all pet owners should consider printing this whole blog issue and keeping the copy handy for any future reference. The longstanding Boy Scout motto, " Be Prepared," is the best way to handle Common Poisons and Your Pets.
COMMON POISONS AND YOUR PETS
Top 10 Pet Poisons of 2008
With various dangers lurking in corners and cabinets, the home can be a minefield of poisons for our pets. In 2008, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, IL, handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances, many of which included everyday household products. Don’t leave it up to Fido or Fluffy to keep themselves safe. Below is a list of the top ten pet poisons that affected our furry friends in 2008.
Treat or Toxin?
How many times have you offered your pet a snack or treat without thinking of the potential consequences? Most pet owners think nothing of offering some of their own snacks to their pets. That may or may not lead to trouble. Check out this web site and click through the many descriptive pictures...you might be surprised by what you find: http://www.aolhealth.com/healthy-living/pet-food-danger?icid=200100397x121993899
17 Common Poisonous Plants
The ASPCA has very informative 6-minute audio/video with one of their veterinarians describing these plants. Be sure to watch the video accompanying this list…. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/17-common-poisonous-plants.html
PEOPLE FOODS TO AVOID
A few of these have been mentioned in the previous sections, but a little repetition might be advantageous.
Safeguarding Cats from Plants
As the days grow colder and shorter, plants from window boxes and screened-in porch planters are brought inside. Tulip, an inquisitive tabby, eyes the new additions to her environment, hopping up on the coffee table to get a better view. Within moments, she is nibbling the greenery—and a short time later, she's retching up a foamy green mess on the rug. It's not easy to keep cats and plants in the same space, but with some inventiveness, it is possible.
If these tips don't solve your cat vs. plant dilemmas, adopt your plants out to a nice family with green thumbs, and learn to love silk or plastic imitations. Jacque Lynn Schultz, CPDT, ASPCA Companion Animal Programs Advisor National Shelter Outreach
What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned
Don’t panic. Rapid response is important, but panicking can interfere with the process of helping your pet. Take 30 to 60 seconds to safely collect and have at hand any material involved. This may be of great benefit to your vet and/or APCC toxicologists, as they determine what poison or poisons are involved. In the event that you need to take your pet to a local veterinarian, be sure to take the product’s container with you. Also, collect in a sealable plastic bag any material your pet may have vomited or chewed. If you witness your pet consuming material that you suspect might be toxic, do not hesitate to seek emergency assistance, even if you do not notice any adverse effects. Sometimes, even if poisoned, an animal may appear normal for several hours or for days after the incident.
Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
Animal Poison Control Frequently Asked Questions
· I think my pet has ingested something potentially dangerous, but she seems normal. What should I do first: call the APCC or rush her to my local emergency veterinarian?
· What should I do if I think my pet ate something poisonous?
· What information will I need when I call you?
About the Animal Poison Control Center
· How do I get in touch with ASPCA animal poison control experts?
· What kind of services does the APCC provide?
· How much does it cost to use the APCC hotline?
· How many cases does the APCC handle daily?
· Where is the APCC located?
· Where does the APCC get its information about toxins and their effects on animals?
· Does the APCC test on animals?
· I live in Illinois—can I bring my pet to the APCC to be seen by a vet?
· I just spoke with a staff member on the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline, but I have more questions. Can I call back?
· Are there certain potentially harmful substances that pets get into more than others?
· I’m a veterinarian; where can I learn more?
· What should I include in my pet’s first-aid kit?
· Are there any plants that are toxic to my pets that I shouldn’t keep around the house?
· How do I find out if a plant is toxic to pets?
· What houseplants are safe?
· I want to send my pet-owning friend a floral arrangement. What flowers are safe to send?
· What are the most common food hazards I should be aware of?
· Is milk bad for cats?
· Why is chocolate bad for dogs?
· How can I check to see if my pet food has been recalled?
· Can I feed my dog a human breath mint?
· Can I give my pet Ibuprofen?
· Can I give my pet aspirin?
· Can my pets actually chew through containers of aspirin?
Around the House
· What are the most common household items I should watch out for?
· What cleaning supplies can I use that won’t hurt my pets?
· Are any types of cat litter poisonous to cats?
· Is it safe for my pet to drink from the toilet?
· What are the some dangers pets face during Valentine’s Day?
· What are the dangerous substances pets should avoid during the Christmas holidays?
· What are some dangers pets face during the cold winter weather?
· What are some hazards pets face during the warm weather?
A Poison Safe Home
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet
As Helpful Buckeye suggested earlier, you should go ahead and print a copy of this issue so that you have it at hand if the need arises. If it appears to be an "unsafe" world out there for your pets, that's because it can be unsafe. A little preparation in advance can make it into a safer place for all of your beloved pets. Peace....