March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month
Pet poisoning with common household items is, unfortunately, a fairly common situation. Among the many household items that may present a toxic risk to pets include xylitol poisoning (xylitol is found in many sugarless gums, candies and mints), human medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and antidepressants, flowers, chocolate, fertilizers, and various pest control products. Symptoms can range from digestive upset and neurological signs, to liver and/or kidney failure.
Appropriate pet proofing and awareness of what to do in the event of a pet poisoning situation are both important points to consider. Having the telephone numbers of local poison control centers as well as veterinary emergency hospitals is also important for ready access to sources of information about potential poisonous substances. Specific treatment will depend upon what a pet has been exposed to. Sometimes induction of vomiting is indicated, while in other cases IV fluid therapy and oral charcoal therapy may be indicated. The Pet Poison Helpline is useful for clients in those cases where poisoning is suspected. The Pet Poison Helpline at (800) 213-6680 is available 24 hours a day. If you suspect your dog or cat has ingested something poisonous, call the helpline or your local veterinarian immediately.