March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month! This is a very important topic for those of us who work in the veterinary field. Our furry friends are very curious, and love finding treats and goodies. Unfortunately, they don’t know what is and is not safe for them. Sadly, this results in thousands of cases of pet poisonings a year. A Cherry Hill, NJ vet offers some advice on how to keep your pet safe in this article.
C ommon Toxins
Did you know that chocolate is the poison most commonly ingested by dogs? Other things that can endanger Fido include rodenticides, grapes and raisins, and xylitol, which is found in many processed foods, particularly baked goods. Human medications, particularly antidepressants, are also very dangerous to dogs, as are many OTC meds, such as Tylenol. Fertilizers are also on the list, along with Vitamin D. These items are all dangerous to kitties, too. Cats are also often poisoned by flea/tick medications, essential oils, garlic and onions, and toxic plants, such as lilies. (You can find more information on toxic plants here .) They also sometimes ingest things like cleaning agents, often by walking through them and licking their paws.
It’s important for you to know what to look for. Some signs of poisoning include vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, loss of appetite, pale or discolored gums, excessive thirst, an increase or decrease in urination, black stools, and/or unusual behavior or vocalizations. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these warning signs.
What To Do
As mentioned above, the first thing to do if your pet has ingested poison is to contact your vet. In some cases, you may need to act immediately to stabilize your pet until you can get them to the clinic. We recommend having a pet first-aid kit on hand. In addition to basic items, like gauze, antiseptic, and tweezers, you’ll want to add hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal. However, you should never administer these before talking to a professional. You may want to keep your vet’s number in the kit, along with the number for the Pet Poison Helpline. That number is (855) 764-7661. (Note: charges may apply.) It’s not a bad idea to add some pet first-aid brochures as well. You can also download pet first-aid apps.
As your Cherry Hill, NJ veterinary clinic, we’re here to help. Call us anytime!