Poisoning is a big concern for our animal companions. Here in the US, there are about 232,000 cases of pet poisoning each year. Don’t let your furry friend join those statistics! Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet discusses poison.
It’s important to know what dangers are lurking in your household. Any kind of chemical is a concern. With lawn/garden products, for instance, your pet could ingest toxins just by walking through that patch of lawn you just sprayed and then licking their paws or fur. Antifreeze is also highly toxic to pets. Unfortunately, many brands have a sweet taste pets like. Many foods are also dangerous to pets. (Grapes, currants, and raisins bear particular mention, as they can cause organ failure in very small doses.) Certain plants are also toxic to Fluffy and Fido. Lilies, for example, can be deadly to cats, while Sago palms are very dangerous to dogs. Medicine is another danger.
Although different types of poisons affect pets differently, many of them do cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, disorientation, trembling, elevated heart rate, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Your pet may seem restless and agitated or weak and lethargic. Severe or progressed cases can cause seizures or convulsions. Don’t wait to see how your pet fares. Immediate treatment is crucial! Contact your vet right away.
Fortunately, taking some common sense precautions will greatly reduce the risk of your pet ingesting poison. First and foremost, keep pets away from areas where you have used chemicals or set out rodenticides or pesticides, and clean up any spilled antifreeze or chemicals right away. Be sure to only buy safe, non toxic plants. (The ASPCA has a full directory online here.) For dogs, we also recommend teaching the commands to Leave It or Drop It. Finally, keep medicines and foods safely out of paws’ reach.
If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested poison, you’ll need to act immediately. Contact the Pet Poison Hotline. There are several different ones: the ASPCA number is (888) 426-4435. (Note: charges may apply.) Your furry pal will need immediate veterinary care, but you may be instructed to perform first aid, such as administering hydrogen peroxide. Follow the instructions to the letter!
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA animal clinic, today!