Poison Prevention Week for Pets

Poison Prevention Week is an annual observance started in 1961 that is designed to highlight the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. Although originally created to focus on preventing poisoiningsof children and adults, this week is a great time to discuss potential dangers to our pets as well.

Xylitol, a sweetener found in many sugarless gums, desserts, and other baked goods, can be toxic to our canine friends.  The compound can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, or, in some cases, liver failure.

Human pharmaceuticals are also on this “most common” list.  Through accidental or purposeful ingestion, many pets are sickened by over the counter pain relievers (such as aspirin, Tylenol® or NSAIDs like Aleve®).  Another common poisoning occurs when our pets get into an owner’s antidepressant medications. For cats, Adderall — a combination of mixed amphetamine salts used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — has quickly risen to become one of the most common and dangerous of these pharmaceutical threats. The flavor of Adderall has proven to appeal to the finicky feline palate. And that’s bad, because a single 20 milligram capsule could kill the average size cat.

With Easter approaching, many families will chose flowers to decorate their homes. Flowers of the Lily family can be deadly to cats and ingestion of a few petals or even the pollen can cause severe kidney failure.

Chocolate is another potential poison that is prevalent during Easter. Dark chocolates and baking chocolates are more dangerous than milk chocolate, but enough of any chocolate can cause abnormal heart rhythms, vomiting, and hyperactivity in dogs.

Springtime also puts people in the mood for yard work and cleaning. Be wary of using certain fertilizers for your lawn and garden if they contain organophosphates and/or carbamates. These poisons can cause severe seizures, respiratory failure and death in pets.

Many pets will find pest control products, like snail bait or rodenticides. Rat poison toxicity will eventually kill the pet without intervention and treatment.

Sometimes, severe damage can be avoided with prompt medical attention. If you see your pet ingest any of these poisons, call us for help — or just head on in. We’re here 24-7 and are ready to help you through any emergency situation.