Pet Poison Prevention Month
Protecting Our Pets From Poisoning
As a pet parent you’ve probably heard over and over again the dangers your pet should avoid. Ask any dog parent what your dog shouldn’t consume and the first thing that usually comes to mind is chocolate. But what about other dangers we as pet parents must be made aware of?
March is Pet Poison Prevention Month, and on this episode of Vet Chat, Dr. Ryan Llera discusses how we can help keep our pets safe, what to watch out for, and what our pets should avoid consuming.
Dr. Ryan Llera
March is Pet Poison Prevention Month!
One of the most important things Edie & I want for your pet is to be healthy and safe. We hope almost everyone knows about chocolate, rat poisons, and antifreeze so we’re going to focus on some seasonally relevant toxins or ones that might seem obscure. Remember, this is not a replacement for getting your pet seen by your veterinarian if you suspect they have been poisoned, but is more to help you pet proof your home & yard.
Xylitol has been in the news in recent years for its prevalence in sugar free chewing gums and even a few brands of peanut butter. To be blunt, xylitol is really bad. Within 30 minutes of ingestion, your pet will get low blood sugar which if dangerously low can cause seizures. Liver failure signs can be seen within 24 hours. Recently though, xylitol has found its way into toothpastes, multivitamins, some gels/lotions, and nasal sprays to name a few products.
Spring & summer time is coming!
What does that mean? Longer walks, swimming, BBQ cookouts…oh wait, that’s my plans for the summer. Back to poisons. Spring and summer mean gardening. While the fresh air is good for your pet, some of those plants and products you might use can be deadly. Many plants can just cause some mild signs of vomiting, diarrhea, or drooling. More serious problems can develop such as kidney failure in cats that eat lily plants and fatal heart or liver problems from tulips, foxglove, yew and rhododendron, among others. A great resource to check before planting your garden is the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center plant list.
Other items you might have in your garden or around the home you might not realize are serious poisons: slug or snail baits cause intense seizures and hyperthermia, many fertilizers can cause gastrointestinal irritation, and insecticides which may cause GI problems, trouble breathing, or seizures.
Over the counter or prescription drugs are always a risk and should never be left within reach or given without consulting your veterinarian.
Most summer gatherings also have alcohol, which should never be shared with your pet…believe me, I’ve seen it happen.
Home should be a safe place for your pets. There’s never a bad time to puppy or kitten proof the home. When in doubt about something your pet may have eaten, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian. Many times, they can counsel you on whether or not your pet needs to be seen at the clinic or if they can be watched at home. Another great resource is the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center which has a comprehensive website and also a call in hotline.
Dr. Ryan Llera is a small animal veterinarian at the Kingston Veterinary Clinic in Kingston, Ontario. Though originally from Florida, he married a Canadian (who is also a vet!) and they share their home with 3 cats, 2 dogs, 2 horses, and a rabbit. Ryan is also a regular guest writer for the Ontario SPCA blog. You can find more of his writing at drryanllera.com or see what else he is up to on Facebook & Twitter.