It’s Pet Poison Prevention Month

National Poison Prevention Week is officially recognized March 19-25. Here at Lindsay’s Pet Care Services, the safety of the animals in our care is extremely important to us. We continuously educate ourselves on pet toxins and how to prevent/handle poisoning emergencies. Here, we have compiled a list of the TOP 10 pet poisons for you to look out for in your home in hopes that you can be educated as well:

  1. Chocolate
    – Chocolate contains a substance known as methylxanthines which causes vomiting when small doses are ingested, but can be the cause of death if large doses are ingested. Dark chocolate is known to have a higher amount of this substance. Smaller dogs are at a greater risk.
  2. Mouse and Rat Poisons
    -These products are made to kill. Enough said.
  3. Vitamins and Minerals (e.g., Vitamin D3, iron, etc.)
    -What is good for humans, is not always good for pets & can have a reverse effect. Please look up a list of vitamins & minerals that are safe & beneficial for your pets before giving them human pills.
  4. NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.
    – Can cause kidney failure as well as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea & gastric ulcers. Please consult with your vet before administrating any over- the counter medicine to your pets.
  5. Cardiac Medications (e.g., calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, etc.)
     -Although calcium channel blockers are commonly used in veterinary medicines, an overdose can result to a slowed heart rate & eventually heart failure.
  6. Cold and Allergy Medications (e.g., pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, etc.)
     – capable of causing agitation/restlessness, increased heart rate & blood pressure, muscle tremors, seizures and even death depending on the dose ingested.  If a product name is followed by “D” (ex. Mucinex-D, Claritin-D, Allegra-D, etc), it likely contains pseudoephedrine.
  7. Antidepressants (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
    -This can cause vomiting, an increase in temperature, blood pressure, heart rate & may cause seizures.
  8. Xylitol
    -Also known as a “knock off” sugar, causes rapid drop in blood sugar which results in weakness & seizures.
  9. Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
    -This is very toxic to dogs, but more-so to cats. This can cause liver failure & a decrease in oxygen to body tissue. Cats usually develop swelling.
  10. Caffeine Pills/Coffee beans
     – Pets are very sensitive to caffeine and within a couple hours of exposure they will endure mild to severe hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures, and collapse.
  11. Household Cleaners
    – Cleaners such as bleach, drain cleaner, detergent etc. are extremely harmful to pets. Do not induce vomiting when a pet has ingested any chemical. These chemicals can cause burning as they are swallowed & secondary additional burns when coming back up.
  12. Lilies/ Azaleas/Dumb Cane/Tulip & Daffodil plants
     -There are many plants that are very poisonous to cats. These are the top 5 most common household plants that are the leading cause of vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, oral irritation & sometimes death.
  13. Glow Sticks
     -While Glow Sticks may not be deadly, they can cause a mild to moderate reaction, especially in cats. Glow sticks contain what is called dibutyl phthalate which will cause drooling, gagging & can cause irritation in the eyes & skin which creates a burning sensation.

If you think your fur-kid has ingested any of these items or any other substance that may be harmful to them please contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435. Experts at the APCC are available to answer questions and provide guidance 24 hours a day for a $60 consultation fee. Another option is the Pet Poison Helpline at (800) 213-6680 with a fee of $49 per incident.