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Top 5 Most Common Pet Poisons

Top 5 Most Common Pet Poisons
(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Tuesday, 15 March 2016 11:24 AM

Chocolate, gum, mints, meds, cleaning agents, and hand sanitizers are common items in many households. But they are also among the most common pet poisons that cause health emergencies for dogs and cats each year, according to the folks at the Pet Poison Helpline.

“Every January, we examine our records to see what toxins contributed to the most emergency calls from pet owners and veterinarians the previous 12 months,” says Ahna Brutlag, associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline. “We hope that by sharing these lists, more pet owners will become educated about how to avoid problems and protect their pets.”

The best thing concerned pet owners can do is know the most common pet toxins, listed below, and then pet-proof their homes. If your pet accidently ingests something toxic, contact a veterinarian or call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680.

Drugs. Half the calls to the Pet Poison Helpline are because a pet ingested a medication lying around the house or in a handbag, book bag, or duffel bag. Both over-the-counter and prescriptions drugs — such as Advil, Motrin, Tylenol, heart pills, cold remedies, asthma inhalers, and antidepressants — are all toxic to pets. Signs a pet has ingested one of these drugs include sedation, loss of coordination, agitation, trembling, and seizures.

Gums and mints. Many sugarless gums and mints contain xylitol, a sugar substitute highly toxic to dogs. Even a small amount of it can cause dangerous blood sugar problems and lead to liver failure. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning: vomiting, weakness, collapse, shaking and seizures.

Tobacco. Tobacco is toxic to cats and dogs, even in small amounts. So are stop-smoking products like nicotine gum. Signs of nicotine poisoning: elevated heart and respiratory rates, neurological symptoms, loss of bladder or bowel control, tremors, seizures, paralysis, and death.

Hand sanitizers. These gels and liquids, used to kill germs, contain alcohol (ethanol), which can be lethal to pets. A small bottle of hand sanitizer contains the equivalent of a shot of hard liquor, which can cause drop in your pet's blood sugar, loss of coordination, loss of body temperature, nervous system depression, coma, and death.

Poisons, insecticides. This is a no-brainer, but toxic chemicals used to control rodents, bugs, and other household pets are a leading cause of pet poisonings in the U.S. — the No. 1 cause for cats and No. 2 for dogs, according to the Pet Poison Helpline.

Other common pet poisons for dogs: chocolate, vitamins and minerals, and caffeine pills. For cats: household cleaners, lilies and other plants (dieffenbachia, philodendron), and toys (such as glow sticks, kids' jewelry).

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Candy, meds, and hand sanitizers are common items in many households, but they are also among the most common pet poisons that cause health emergencies for dogs and cats each year, according to the folks at the Pet Poison Helpline.
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2016-24-15
Tuesday, 15 March 2016 11:24 AM
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