Every year, the third week of March is designated “Poison Prevention Week”, making the month of March our awareness month. Just as we need to watch our kids and prevent against contact with toxins, we also need to watch the little critters in our lives, and homes, that can also come into contact with food, medication, plants and other objects that can be poisonous to their system.
What can we watch for? Human medications, while, many times, prescribed for our health, can be dangerous for our furry friends. Many prescription drugs, such as antidepressants, have been commonly ingested by dogs and can cause serious harm. Also, over-the-counter medications, such as drugs containing acetaminophen, and NSAIDs, are common medications that pets can get into and that can cause adverse effects to our canine and feline friends. These are just a few examples of toxic medications for our pets. If your pet ingests any medications that are not their own, please contact your veterinarian for more information.
Like myself, I am sure that many of you find yourself in the kitchen and a piece of food slips off the counter onto the floor. With pets in the home, you will need to watch these occurrences and keep your furry friend from picking up those stray pieces, if they are toxic. In the kitchen, foods such as:
- Yeast Dough
must be avoided. If you are unsure of other ingredients, check with your veterinarian for information. Trupanion also recommends avoiding ingredients, such as, Xylitol and Macadamia nuts. If your pet ingests any of these ingredients, having your pet take hydrogen peroxide, after immediate ingestion, can help your pet to regurgitate the food. If your pet does not regurgitate the ingredients, or if you are unsure of when the ingredients were ingested, please contact your local veterinarian.
There are many other toxins and chemicals in our homes. In our cabinets, garbage, shed or garage, keep your pets away from:
- Dishwasher detergents
- Household Cleaners
- Rodent Poison
- Chemicals for lawns and gardens
These, among other chemicals, can cause serious illnesses for our pets. Please seek veterinary care if any of these products are ingested, or if possibility of ingestion of any chemical agent has occurred. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING with chemical ingestion. We may look at the plants in our homes and yards and think nothing of the poisonous effects they may have on our pets, distracted by their beauty, but plants can also have toxic results on dogs and cats. Plants like:
- Lilies (especially for cats)
- Sago Palm (especially for dogs)
- Tomato plants
all can cause adverse effects in either our dogs or cats or both. Please contact your local veterinarian if you suspect ingestion of these plants. Try to avoid allowing these plants within reach of your pets at home.
Poison prevention starts first with recognition; recognizing what is toxic for your pet will help with the prevention of ingestion. Get to know pet poisons, and if your pet ingests any of them, do not wait for symptoms to occur; seek immediate care.