The Pet Poison Hotline recently reported their list of the top emergency phone calls they received in 2011. On that list were potential poisons that homeowners have in their house that their pets somehow got into, ingested, or were exposed to. We never realize just how curious, nosy, and dangerous some of the things we have in our homes can be to our pets until we see them sick, lethargic, or vomiting.
Below are the top 6 most reported poisons for 2011 from pet owners:
1: Food poisoning – chocolate, caffeine, and grapes and raisins were the most frequent emergency room visits and phone calls. Sweeteners used in gum and other items also were reported as something their dog ingested. All these ingredients can be fatal if swallowed and often times can cause great stress on the dog’s body. Liver failure and kidney failure among other problems are common if a pet has ingested food that is not intended for them.
2: Insecticides – bait traps, sprays, and flea/tick treatments were causes of concern. These can be life-threatening to dogs even in small amounts. While many of us do apply a flea and tick preventative to our pets, we do not want them to lick it. Cats groom themselves and so placing the treatment high up on the neck/head area where they can’t lick the insecticide is important.
3: Mouse and rat poisons – rodenticides and other poisons used in yards to kill unwanted animals tend to have some ingredient that may tempt your dog and cat as well. The active ingredients are fatal to dogs. Depending on what type was ingested, a poison can result in internal bleeding, brain swelling, vomiting, or bloat. Keep these items out of reach and consider trying some other more “green” way of keeping critters out of the house.
4: NSAIDS – ibuprofen, naproxen, and other headache meeds can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers as well as potential kidney failure. Any medication that is prescribed for humans should not be given to your pet or within reach. Sometimes our pets take the same type of med as we do, but that doesn’t mean share it. Your dog or cat is on a different dosage and it may not be exactly the same. Keep your meds and your pets separate, always.
5: Household cleaners – polishes, sprays, and detergents can be harmful to your pet. Many contain some sort of chemical that corrodes grease, dirt, mildew or something and that means it can burn and corrode your pet’s internal system. Natural products do not mean they are safe for your pet to lick or ingest as well, it just means it’s not as synthesized. Keep them in a cabinet, on a shelf, or somewhere where you pet can not access them. When cleaning, make sure your pets are not nearby if they have a habit of being nosy and sniffing the bucket or sponges. You may need to shoo them off into another room and close the door for a little bit while you clean and everything dries.
6: Fertilizers – blood meal, bone meal, and other lawn and garden products can cause severe pancreatic problems. Some fertilizers can induce vomiting, bleeding, and make your pet very ill. If you are working in your garden, make sure your pets are not near and think about getting a fence to close off the area so your dog, cat, and other animals don’t accidentally ingest any of the soil and chemicals.