Preventing Pet Poisoning Emergencies

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Preventing Pet Poisoning Emergencies

PET POISON HELPLINE
(800) 213-6680
If you suspect that your pet has ingested something that could be harmful, don’t hesitate to seek immediate veterinary advice. Pet Poison Helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is a one-time, per-incident consultation fee of $65. Be sure to have the following information ready when calling:

  • What your pet ingested and when
  • How much your pet ingested (how many pills, what milligram strength they were, how many ounces of chocolate, etc._)
  • Pet’s current weight
  • Pet’s known medical history, including any medications (prescriptions and supplements)
Poisons in Plain Sight

Common household items such as plants, foods, and chemicals can harm your pet if ingested. Each year, thousands of pets suffer and may die from accidental household poisoning. Do you know what pet toxins and poisons are in and around your home?

Top 10 Toxins and Poisons
Cats

The most common calls received by Pet Poison Helpline for cat toxicities are:

  • Lilies
  • Canine permethrin insecticides (topical flea and tick medicine for dogs)
  • Household cleaners
  • Rodenticides (mouse and rat poisons)
  • Paints and varnishes
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)- veterinary medications like meloxicam, Rimadyl, and Deramaxx
  • Glow sticks/glow jewelry
  • Amphetamines- ADD/ADHD drugs like Adderall or Ritalin
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol in brand name or generic form)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin in brand name or generic form
Dogs

The most common calls received by Pet Poison Helpline for dog toxicities are:

  • Chocolate
  • Insect bait stations
  • Rodenticides (mouse and rat poisons)
  • Fertilizers
  • Xylitol-containing products, such as sugar-free gums and candies
  • Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin in brand name or generic form)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol in brand name or generic form)
  • Silica gel packs
  • Amphetamines- ADD/ADHD drugs like Adderall or Ritalin
  • Household cleaners
I Think My Pet’s Been PoisonedWhat Should I Do? What Should I NOT Do?

In the event of a pet poisoning emergency, remain calm. It’s important that you keep a level head so that you can properly assess the situation and communicate clearly with your veterinarian.
Scan The Surroundings

Get a handle on the situation by following these guidelines:

  1. Safely remove any remaining poisonous material from your pet’s reach.
  2. Gather the container or substance to bring to the veterinary hospital or to describe to the Pet Poison Helpline expert.
  3. Collect a sample of any material that your pet may have vomited.

If your pet has ingested something that could be harmful, the prognosis is always better when immediately reported; it’s safer for your pet and less expensive to treat before your pet has developed symptoms. That’s because decontamination (like inducing vomiting, having the stomach pumped, or administering activated charcoal) can only be performed within a narrow window of time.

Even if your pet is not immediately exhibiting signs of poisoning, it’s important to seek professional advice if you suspect that your pet has ingested a poisonous substance. When in doubt, call for help first.

To Vomit or Not To Vomit?

Many people assume they should induce vomiting if their pet has ingested something poisonous. However, forcing your pet to vomit could actually cause more harm or even be dangerous if done improperly or at the wrong time.

Keep these guidelines in mind:

  • If your pet is already showing signs of poisoning, it’s too late to induce vomiting.
  • If your pet has certain medical problems (like laryngeal paralysis or brachycephalic syndrome), inducing vomiting is not recommended and can make your pet’s condition worse.

Certain toxins (such as corrosive cleaners and hydrocarbons such as gasoline, paint thinners, and kerosene) should NOT be brought back up. Inducing vomiting after the ingestion of a corrosive material may ultimately cause more harm to your pet.

Most important, always seek veterinary advice before administering any kind of treatment yourself.