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Shedding Light on Pet Poisoning

March 15, 2024

March 17th marks the start of National Animal Poison Prevention Week, a crucial time for pet guardians. This annual event underscores the dangers lurking in everyday items. Poisonings are a frequent cause of sudden vet visits, but fret not! Your neighborhood Canal Winchester, OH vet shares practical advice to safeguard your furry friend in this comprehensive piece.

How Many Pets Are Poisoned Every Year?

The numbers paint a grim picture. Each year, the U.S. sees over 401,500 reported instances of pet poisoning.

Which Foods Pose a Poison Risk to Pets?

Fido and Fluffy need to steer clear of several beloved foods! The following items are off-limits.

  • Caffeine
  • Many nuts, such as macadamia nuts
  • Grapes
  • Anything That Contains Xylitol (Birch Sugar)
  • Onions
  • Chocolate
  • Raisins
  • Alcohol
  • Chives
  • Currants
  • Scallions
  • Junk Food
  • Garlic

Seek further details from your Canal Winchester, OH vet regarding this matter.

Which Everyday Household Products Pose a Toxic Threat to Dogs and Cats?

It’s astonishing how numerous everyday household items can pose a fatal threat to your beloved pet.

Cleaning Agents: It’s a prudent assumption that virtually all household cleaning products pose a risk of poisoning to pets. This encompasses bleach, disinfectants, furniture polish, furniture oil, detergents, drain cleaners, and mold removers, among others.

Automotive: Antifreeze stands out as one of the most perilous substances for pets. Certain brands even possess flavors that appeal to them. Choosing a pet-safe brand is crucial, though it’s not entirely risk-free. Gasoline, oil, paints, cleaners, and wiper fluids pose additional dangers. Keep pets away from chemical-use areas and promptly clean any spills of antifreeze or chemicals.

Lawn/Garden Products: These circumstances are alarming since pets can accidentally consume them effortlessly. Slug bait or snail bait poses an extreme danger to dogs due to the presence of Metaldehyde, a substance found in numerous brands.

All fertilizers, fungicides, weed killers, and herbicides pose risks. Pets can easily pick up these chemicals on their fur just by walking through a treated area.

Which Plants Pose Poisonous Risks to Pets?

A lot of pets enjoy nibbling on plants. That can be adorable, but it’s also quite risky. We’ll focus on some of the most common toxic plants since the full list is quite extensive. Cats should avoid lilies as they can be harmful to them. Even in small amounts, these substances can be extremely dangerous for cats and may even result in fatality. Even a small nibble of a leaf or a sip of water can make Fluffy sick. When it comes to Fido, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers of Sago palms.

Below are a few of the poisonous varieties:

  • Aloë
  • Foxglove
  • Irises
  • Widow’s-thrill
  • Hyacinth
  • Sago palm
  • Rhododendron
  • Lilies
  • Birds of Paradise
  • Amaryllis
  • Ivy
  • Tulips
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Common daisy
  • Holly
  • Cyclamen
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Azalea
  • Crocus
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Daffodils
  • Hydrangea
  • Oleander
  • Peonies

Generally, anything with a bulb is deemed unsafe for pets. This encompasses tulips, daffodils, onions, and garlic. For further details on safe and unsafe plants, visit the ASPCA website.

Remember, plants that aren’t toxic can still pose risks. For example, roses have sharp thorns that could cause severe internal injuries if ingested. Consult your vet for further details.

Which Household Objects Pose Poisoning Risks to Pets?

Additionally, here are a few more:

Pesticides: Insect repellent, rodenticides, and mouse or rat bait—anything crafted to exterminate pests—is perilous for your furry friend. Several rodenticides include warfarin, an anticoagulant causing severe, possibly lethal, internal bleeding.

Included on the list are flea and tick medications, which are safe when used correctly. However, doubling up or administering an incorrect dose could endanger your pet and lead to poisoning.

Medication: It’s crucial to take extra care to ensure medications are out of your pet’s reach. Among the most hazardous are aspirin, acetaminophen, and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen. Keep both over-the-counter and prescription drugs safely stored away from your pets.

Could Salt Lamps Pose a Risk to Pets?

Surprisingly, yes, they can! Some pets are drawn to the taste of salt. Fluffy and Fido might excessively lick the lamp, leading to potential salt poisoning. However, this doesn’t mean you have to forgo having one; simply place it in an area inaccessible to your pets.

Are the Poisons Affecting Cats and Dogs the Same?

To some extent, yes and no. Generally, both cats and dogs are vulnerable to the same toxic substances. However, Fido and Fluffy exhibit distinct instincts and behaviors. Cats may face a higher risk of illness due to substances that have spilled on or come into contact with their fur. Fluffy’s skin is not only delicate but she’s also meticulous about grooming herself. Cats can easily fall ill by walking through pesticide-treated lawns and ingesting toxins during grooming. This concern extends to dogs too; Fido may also lick hazardous substances off his paws.

Yet another contrast? Dogs have a tendency to consume or gnaw on almost anything. While some pups outgrow this behavior after teething, others persist as voracious chewers well into adulthood.

What Symptoms Indicate Poisoning in Pets?

Symptoms will vary depending on the poison type and quantity ingested. Nonetheless, there are some general indicators to note. These may include the following:

  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Twitching
  • Coughing
  • Wobbling/Lurching Gait
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Excessive Urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Shock
  • Collapse
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Coma
  • Seizure
  • Drooling

Cats frequently withdraw when unwell, while dogs may display melancholy. Unusual behaviors, from grumpiness to clinginess, could also be observed in both pets.

Remember, these signs can signal various problems. Promptly contact your Canal Winchester, OH veterinarian if you observe any abnormalities.

Do Essential Oils Pose Risks to Pets?

Aromatherapy is commonly integrated into health and wellness routines by many individuals. While pets can reap benefits from it, caution is paramount. The highly concentrated nature of these oils can pose dangers. Cats, in particular, are susceptible due to their heightened sensitivity to chemicals.

Below are a few of the hazardous ones:

  • Wintergreen
  • Sweet Birch
  • Peppermint
  • Clove
  • Anise
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Pine
  • Citrus Oils
  • Pennyroyal
  • Wintergreen
  • Juniper
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Cinnamon

Prioritize caution and keep perfumes and oils out of reach of your furry companion.

What Substances Are Toxic to Birds?

Extra care is crucial for bird owners. Polly’s delicate lungs are highly sensitive. Even seemingly pleasant scents for humans can make your feathered friend ill if inhaled. This includes scented candles, incense, perfume, and air fresheners. Cooking fumes and aerosols also pose risks to birds.

What to Do If I Suspect My Pet Has Been Poisoned?

Swift action is imperative; your pet’s life could be at stake, so waiting is not an option.

Your initial step should be getting in touch with your veterinarian. If it’s outside regular hours, seek assistance from an emergency clinic. You can also utilize a pet poison hotline for guidance. There are various options available; for example, you can contact the ASPCA at (888) 426-4435. (Note: charges may apply.) Fido or Fluffy will require urgent veterinary attention, but it’s advisable to call ahead so they can be ready. You might also receive instructions to administer first aid, like using hydrogen peroxide.

Adhere strictly to instructions and refrain from administering anything unless advised by your vet or a poison helpline representative. Incorrect actions could pose greater risks than taking no action.

Need assistance with your pet’s safety, health, or care? Don’t hesitate to reach out! Contact us at Winchester Veterinary Clinic today for support.