Pets are mischievous and will get into the strangest things. We need to be prepared to know if something is poisonous to our pets. This past week was “National Animal Poison Prevention Week – March 15-21, 2015” and this month is “Poison Prevention Month.” There are so many subjects to discuss on this topic, this will be a broad overview and we will write other articles in detail concerning different topics on this subject in the next few months.
When you suspect your pet has eaten a poisonous substance you need to act fast per Dr. Tina Wismer, Medical Director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. She says the best plan of action is to call your pet’s veterinarian immediately. It usually takes up to 20 minutes or more for a reaction. However for those times your veterinarian clinic is not open or you need to know if it is poisonous or not you can check Pet Poisons. Also, there are several 24 hour hotlines, 888-426-4435, there is a $65 charge or 855-764-7661, there is a $49 charge. I do want to mention it is not a time to go on Facebook asking for help in your favorite animal related groups. Time is of the essence and a professional is needed. We get lots of well meaning advice and can learn from each other on our Facebook groups but nothing is as important as a knowledgeable expert.
Have an emergency plan in place–with our technology today program your veterinarian, emergency veterinarian and the pet poison hotlines into your phone. Be sure everyone in the household has access to the information. Don’t panic if the unthinkable happens.
What you should do if you suspect your pet has ingested a poison:
1. Remove the pet from the area and make sure if you have other pets they can not get into the substance.
2. Check that your pet is breathing and acting normally
3. Don’t try to do a home remedy unless advised by a veterinarian
4. Do not induce vomiting unless you are being directed by a veterinarian
5. Get help immediately–Remember the sooner a poisoning is diagnosed, the easier and less expensive it is for your pet to get treated.
Things to remember during an emergency:
Remain calm—animals can sense your panic
If you determine you will need to go to a veterinary hospital call ahead to notify them you are coming!
Provide them with the following information:
Type of pet/name/age/gender/weight
Exposure information/substance (if known)/amount ingested/time of ingestion (if known)
Steps you have already taken
Relevant medical history
Estimated Time of arrival
Prevention is key in keeping our pets safe. Each year thousands of pets are poisoned because we (HUMANS) don’t know what is toxic for our pets and we (Humans) don’t keep things out of reach of our pets.
Poison categories (be on watch for more information on each of these categories)
Did you know that human medications are one of the top poisons? Keep all medicine and supplemental bottles (prescription or non prescription) in a drawer away from your pets. Leaving them on the counter is asking for trouble.
Chocolate, candy, breathe mints, and gum can be deadly if it contains Xylitol. Xylitol comes in many different things so check labels on everything!
Different foods are harmful to your pets.
Rodenticides, fertilizers, plant food, insecticidal products and household cleaners can be harmful or deadly to your pet.