MARCH IS PET POISON MONTH

Are you aware of all the every-day items in your home that may be toxic to your pets?

 

 

It has been my experience, as a Veterinary Technician and a Pet Sitter, that a lot of people are unaware of these potential hazards.

A short list of items one should be aware of……..

PLANTS

Some seemingly innocuous home and garden plants can cause stomach upset or can be downright fatal to your pet.  The list is quite extensive.  The ASPCA animal poison control center has a list of the top 17 plants that are poisonous to pets.  First on that list is the beautiful Lilly.  Also making that list is….marijuana, Sago palms, azalea/rhododendron, Oleander, castor bean, cyclomen, kanchoe, Yew,  Amaryllis, Autumn crocus, Chrysanthemum, English Ivy, Peace Lilly, Pothos, and Schefflera.  Poinsettia’s have always gotten a bum-rap as well, but apparently is not as life-threatening as once believed, non-the-less ingestion of excessive poinsettia leaves can produce gastrointestinal tract irritation, which can include drooling and vomiting.  It is always best to educate yourself before picking out that new bit of foliage for your home or garden. Take the proper precautions to keep these plants out of reach so your pets cannot get into them.

You may have noticed that high on that list (no pun intended)  is marijuana.  According to Nationwide Insurance (one of the leading carriers of pet health insurance), the incident rate of pet poisoning from marijuana is on the rise now that it has been legalized in so many states.

Be sure to visit aspca.org for the complete list of all indoor and outdoor plants that pose a threat to your pets well-being

FOODS

Raisins, avocados, onions, garlic, grapes, chocolate (especially dark chocolate) are all seemingly harmless, but can be harmful or even fatal to your pet.  Another big one is Xylitol (often found in sugarless gum or sugarless candies).  Xylitol is extremely toxic to your pet and can cause them to go into hypoglycemic shock.

PRESCRIPTION AND OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS

Be sure to keep all medications out of your pets reach.  Not just prescription medication, but also, simple aspirin or ibuprofen.  Aspirin and Ibuprofen can cause stomach ulcers, even in human beings, but especially in your pets.  Best to keep in original containers in a closed cabinet.  Do not leave them on the counter as curious dogs can easily chew these bottles open and ingest their contents.

FERTILIZERS, RAT POISONS, SWIMMING POOL TREATMENT SUPPLIES, PEST-CONTROL PRODUCTS AND ANTIFREEZE

Store all these items in a closed shed or garage where your pet cannot get to them.  Use closed, pet friendly rat traps, if needed, and keep them away from where your dog or cat roam. Several of these can be found on Amazon.   As far as swimming pools, most pets won’t develop a problem from the occasional small drink of pool water, however,  large quantities of pool water may cause problems, including irritation or burns to the esophagus. Also, if the dog or cat is allergic to the chemicals in the pool, a life-threatening reaction may occur.

For a more comprehensive  list of hazardous household items, please check out ASPCA’s website www.aspca.org.

Some clinical signs to be aware of can include anything from extreme excitement to severe depression, salivating, vomiting, diarrhea, red tachy mucous membranes and, in severe cases, seizures.

Remember, prevention is paramount when it comes to accidental pet poisonings.  Benjamin Franklin was once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  That being said however, If your pet does get into anything you feel may be harmful, take them to a Veterinarian immediately.