In 1961, Congress designated the third week in March as Poison Prevention Week. The veterinary industry recognized this event as well. This year, Pet Poison Prevention week takes place from Sunday, March 19 to Saturday, March 25. In recognition of this event, the Pet Poison Helpline would like pet owners to know about the most toxic items around their homes for dogs and cats. The organization studied its list of calls and came up with the following:
Human Medications: A whopping 43 percent of calls the Pet Poison Helpline receives each year concern pets that have consumed medications meant for humans. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Anti-depressants led the list, followed by non-prescription drugs containing acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).
Human Foods: Next on the list are foods that are safe for humans but can be toxic or deadly for pets. The top offenders include dark chocolate, the artificial sweetener Xylitol, raisins, grapes, table salt, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, and dough with a yeast base. Dark chocolate contains large amounts of the ingredient theobromine, which is a close relative of caffeine and can be deadly to such small bodies. You can find Xylitol in sugarless candy and gum. Unfortunately, it’s toxic to dogs and cats even in very small amounts. The other foods can all cause kidney failure.
Insecticides: Insect-repelling products such as granules, sprays, and insect bait stations, can be poisonous to household pets. Organophosphates, found in products to help people care for rose petals, is especially toxic and even life-threatening in some cases.
Rodenticides: Rat and mouse poisons contain several active ingredients that can be toxic to dogs and cats. Ingesting a rodenticide product can produce symptoms such as brain swelling, seizures, kidney failure, and uncontrolled bleeding. Your pet could also become poisoned by eating a dead rodent with poison in its system.
Dietary Vitamins and Supplements: Some vitamins are more toxic to pets than others, including alpha-lipoic acid, iron, and Vitamin D. One thing many pet owners don’t realize is that some sugar-free vitamins and supplements contain Xylitol.
The above items are just five of the hundreds of potential poisonous items your pet could consume. Please click here to see the Pet Poison Helpline’s complete list.
Contact Information in Case of an Emergency
During regular business hours, please contact Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo immediately at 651-770-3250 if you think your pet ingested something poisonous. Options for after-hours emergency care include:
- After Hours Veterinary Care, St. Paul, 24-hour availability: 651-487-1941
- Animal Emergency & Referral Center, Oakdale, 651-501-3766
- Animal Emergency & Referral Center, St. Paul, 651-293-1800
- Pet Poison Helpline, 1-800-213-6680
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