March is Pet poison control awareness month!

March is pet poison prevention month and I wanted to remind all the pet lovers out there to be aware of the household poisons that could affect your pets. The majority of the calls to the poison control lines are related to over-the-counter medications mostly accidentally ingested by pets. Most of them are common medications like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and other pain control medications that the pet owners are using but were left unattended at the reach of those pets. The situation with those non-steroidal anti-inflammatories is that they can cause severe liver and kidney damage because the human dosages are so high and the pets might not have the same enzymes available to break them down safely. Just one Tylenol capsule could kill a cat!! It is super important to keep your medications securely stored away from curious dogs and cats. Other commonly ingested medications like ADHD pills or Blood pressure medications can cause severe cardiac symptoms and need to be neutralized either by inducing vomiting or by administering medications to counter those effects. Last year there were close to 25,000 cases involving pets eating toxic foods including the sweetener Xylitol, grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic. Xylitol is in most sugar-free candy and bubble gum and it will kill pets with acute liver failure. Grapes and raisins are especially toxic to the kidneys and will cause kidney failure depending on the amount ingested. The popularity of chocolate gifts for occasions like Christmas, Valentine‚Äôs Day, and Easter also result in accidental chocolate poisoning. The darker the chocolate the deadlier it is. Corn cobs are another food danger because they do not digest or break down in the gut so the dogs that bit big chunks of corn cobs end up having emergency surgery to remove them from the intestines. Something most pet owners do not realize is that dogs and cats are lactose intolerant. Although cow’s milk itself is not really toxic, it is not in the best interest to give it to them. In addition, most dairy products like ice cream and yogurt are full of unhealthy sugars and fat and those could cause your pets to get pancreatitis. Ethanol can cause signs of intoxication including incoordination and collapse therefore, be careful leaving your wine glass or beers unattended!. The severity of the symptoms corresponds to the amount ingested. Another food culprit is Macadamian nuts. The symptoms of macadamia nut poisoning are similar to any pancreatitis case; vomiting, anorexia, and weakness. However, we see tremors and Central Nervous System signs as well. The toxin is not well known but keep your pups away from these nuts.
There are many ways to secure your foodstuffs and medications but if your pet is naughty and ingests some of those then call your nearest veterinarian immediately. In most cases inducing vomiting is all it takes but in others, activated charcoal, intravenous fluids, and other medications might be necessary. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.