Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Poison Prevention Awareness Month

It's every pet owners worst nightmare.  You come home from a long day at work only to find Rascal with a sheepish look on his face and one of your medicine vials chewed up on the floor.  Immediately you are presented with a multitude of questions, some of which you may not be able to readily answer.  What was in the medicine vial?  How harmful is it?  How much did Rascal ingest?  How long has it been since he got into it?  What should you do next?

Hit the jump to find out answers to all these questions as well as a list of the top five pet related poisons of 2010.

Top 5 Pet Poisons of 2010:
1. Human Medications
-With a readily available supply human medications top the list of causes for pet poisonings in 2010.
2. Insecticides
-Products in this category are often used to remove unwanted guests of the crawling and flying kind.  They are also used to control fleas and ticks.  The most commonly reported cases of poisoning involve cats receving products they shouldn't.  ALWAYS READ THE LABEL BEFORE USING ANY MEDICATIONS!
3. Rodenticides
-These poisons are often used in bait traps for mice and rats, with the key word being bait.  A bait works by pretending it is something tasty to eat and if it it seems tasty to a mouse or rat it can do the same for a cat or dog.
4. Human Foods
-Grapes. Onions. Avoacdos. Chocloate.  Many of the foods we love to eat can actually be harmful to our pets.  To avoid unnecessary accidents please try to only give your pet foods and treats that have been labeled as safe for them to eat.
5. Veterinary Medications
-Veterinary prescribed medications are often flavored to make them more palatable to our pets.  If your pet likes that flavor then we need to make sure they don't ingest a larger dose than your veterinarian recommends.

What to do if you suspect your pet has been poisoned:
1. Contact your veterinarian immediately!
Be ready with the following information:
-The species, age, weight, sex and number of animals involved
-Any symptoms that may be present
-Information regarding the exposure, including the agent (if known), the amount of the agent involved and the time elapsed since the time of exposure.
-If possible, have the product container/packaging available for reference.
2. If unable to contact your veterinarian you should call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline.

To find out more information about some potentially harmful substances your pet may come in contact with check out the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Website.

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