Is Your Home Pet Poison-Proof?

By Friday, March 7, 2014
The Pet Poison Helpline handles over 100,000 calls in a year and they’ve just released a the list of “top ten toxins” for both dogs and cats for 2014. Ideally, this is something every pet owner should read so please share this post with fellow pet parents!
“Every January, we examine our records to see what toxins contributed to the most emergency calls from pet owners and veterinarians the previous 12 months,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT and associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline.


Dog: Top Toxins from 2013
dog toxins
  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol – artifical sweetner
  • NSAIDs (Aleve, Advil, etc)
  • Over the counrt cough, cold, and allergy medications
  • Rodenticides (rat poison)
  • Grapes and rasins
  • Insect bait stations
  • Prescription ADD/ADHD medications
  • Glucosamine joint supplements
  • Silica gel packs and oxygen absorbers
With Xylitol ranked at two for dogs, this sweetner can cause a drop in a dogs sugar level and cause liver failure. “In addition to finding xylitol in gum, sugar-free candies, mints, and baked goods, we are now seeing it in many healthcare products”, as noted by Pamela Huyck, Certified Veterinary Technician at Pet Poison Helpline. It is always good to read ingredients of products to be sure.


Cat: Top Toxins from 2013
  • Lilies
  • Household cleaners
  • Flea and tick spot-on products for dogs
  • Antidepressants (Cymbalta)
  • NSAIDs (Aleve, Advil, etc)
  • Prescription ADD/ADHD medications
  • Over the counrt cough, cold, and allergy medications
  • Plants containing insoluble calcium oxalate crystals
  • Household insecticides
  • Glow sticks and glow jewelry
“Lilies, which are very toxic to cats, are often included in Mother’s day bouquets, start to sprout in our gardens, and often come into the home around Easter”, says Charlotte Flint, DVM.  Lilies are ranked number one for cats as the most calls through out the year.
For more comprehensive information on these potential poisons, and others, please visit the Pet Poison Helpline site.
National Poison Prevention Week is March 16-22. This nation wide observance was launched by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2002 to focus on preventing child deaths due to unintentional poisonings. But it is also is a good time to think about how to protect all the pets in our homes too.
Be prepared! Below is a helpful guide on prepping your home for poisoning emergencies. In spite of your best efforts, your animal can accidentally become poisoned.
Keep the following information readily available:
  • Your veterinarian’s phone number
  • Emergency veterinary service (your vet can recommend who to call after hours)
  • Pet Poison Helpline 24-hour animal poison control hotline (800) 213-6680.  (A fee of $39 for consultation may apply).
When you call the Pet Poison Helpline, please be ready to provide:
  1. Your name, address, telephone number
  2. Name of the substance your pet has ingested, (if you know what it is). If possible, have the product or container and packaging available for reference. Know the approximate amount ingested and time since exposure.
  3. Provide pet’s species, breed, age, sex and weight
  4. Explain all symptoms pet is experiencing.
Keep a poison safety kit on hand for emergencies, containing:
  • A fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • Can of your pet’s favorite wet food
  • Turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medical syringe
  • Saline eye solution to flush out eye contaminants
  • Artificial tear gel to lubricate eyes after flushing
  • Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid for the animal after skin contaminations
  • Rubber gloves
  • Forceps to remove stingers
  • Muzzle (remember, an excited animal may harm you)
  • Pet carrier

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