This week is National Poison Prevention Week and that includes being aware of items dangerous to your pets and what you should do if something happens.
Every home contains everyday items and substances that can be dangerous or even fatal if ingested by dogs and cats.
Keep the following foods away from pets:
• Coffee grounds
• Fatty foods
• Yeast dough
• Macadamia nuts
• Any products containing xylitol (an artificial sweetener)
Always keep garbage out of a pet’s reach, as rotting food contains molds or bacteria that could cause food poisoning.
Many household cleaners can be used safely around pets. However, if the label states “keep pets and children away from area until dry”, follow those directions to prevent possible health risks.
• Products containing bleach can safely disinfect many household surfaces, but can cause stomach upset, drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, severe burns if swallowed or touched and respiratory tract irritation.
• Some detergents can produce similar reactions and cats are sensitive to ingredients such as phenols.
Store all cleaning products in a secure cabinet out of the reach of pets and keep them in their original packaging or in a clearly labeled and tightly sealed container.
Read and follow label instructions before using any type of pesticide.
• Flea and tick products labeled “for use on dogs only” should never be used on cats or other species, as serious or even life-threatening problems could result.
• If a pet ingests rat or mouse poison, potentially serious or even life-threatening illness can result. Place the poison in areas completely inaccessible to pets.
All medicines should be tightly closed and stored securely and away from pets.
Never give your pet any medication, including over-the-counter medications, unless directed by your veterinarian.
Medications that pose higher risk include:
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen
• Diet Pills/Vitamins
• Cold Medicines
• Prescription Drugs
Bathroom & bedroom items
• Bath and hand soaps, toothpaste and sun screens
• Many liquid potpourri products smell good to pets but contain ingredients that can cause oral ulcerations and other problems.
• Just one mothball has the potential to sicken a dog or cat; mothballs that contain naphthalene can cause serious illness, including digestive tract irritation, liver, kidney and blood cell damage, swelling of the brain tissues, seizures, coma, respiratory tract damage (if inhaled) and even death (if ingested).
• Tobacco products
• Pennies (those minted after 1982 contain zinc)
• Alkaline batteries (like those in your remote controls)
Antifreeze, Herbicides and Insecticides
• Ethylene glycol-containing antifreeze and coolants, even in small quantities, can be fatal to pets.
• While antifreeze products containing propylene glycol are less toxic than those containing ethylene glycol, they are dangerous.
• Insecticides, plant/lawn fertilizers, weed killers, ice-melting products and gasoline
• When chemical treatments are applied to grassy areas, be sure and keep your pet off the lawn for the manufacturer’s recommended time. If pets are exposed to wet chemicals or granules that adhere to their legs or body, they may lick it off later; stomach upset or more serious problems could result.
Some of the most commonly grown greenery that should be kept away from pets includes:
• Certain types of lilies (Lilium and Hemerocallis species) are highly toxic to cats, resulting in kidney failure — even if only small amounts are ingested.
• Lily of the Valley, oleander, yew, foxglove, and kalanchoe may cause heart problems if ingested.
• Sago palms (Cycas species) can cause severe intestinal problems, seizures and liver damage, especially if the nut portion of the plant is consumed.
• Azaleas, rhododendrons and tulip/narcissus bulbs can cause intestinal upset, weakness, depression, heart problems, coma and death.
• Castor bean can cause severe intestinal problems, seizures, coma, and death. Other plants that can cause intestinal upset include cyclamen, amaryllis, chrysanthemums, pothos, English ivy, philodendron, corn plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, hibiscus, hydrangea, peace lily and schefflera/scheffleria.
• Rhubarb leaves and shamrock contain substances that can produce kidney failure.
• Additionally, fungi (such as certain varieties of mushrooms) can cause liver damage or other illnesses.
Keep these items away from your pets to keep them safe. If you suspect they ingested or came into contact with poisonous items, call our office immediately if during business hours at 822-4779. After hours, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.