March is Poison Prevention Month, and while it's important for humans to be cautious around toxic substances, it's equally important to keep our pets safe from potential harm. Unfortunately, many common household items and products can be toxic to our furry friends, and it's our responsibility as pet owners to take preventative measures to keep them safe.
In this post, we'll cover some of the most common toxic substances for pets, preventative measures to keep them out of reach, signs and symptoms of poisoning, and what to do if you suspect your pet has been exposed to something toxic.
Common Toxic Substances for Pets
There are many common household items and products that can be toxic to pets. Here are just a few of the most common:
1. Human medications - Many medications that are safe for humans can be toxic to pets. Some common examples include painkillers, antidepressants, and over-the-counter cold and flu medications.
2. Chocolate - Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which can be toxic to pets, especially dogs. The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of theobromine, and the more toxic it is.
3. Cleaning products - Many cleaning products contain chemicals that can be harmful to pets if ingested or inhaled. Some common examples include bleach, ammonia, and disinfectants.
4. Antifreeze - Antifreeze has a sweet taste that can be tempting to pets, but it's extremely toxic and can be fatal if ingested.
5. Certain plants - Many common household plants, such as lilies and poinsettias, can be toxic to pets if ingested.
6. Rodenticides – Rodent poison is one of the most ingested toxins pets These substances can cause severe health complications in pets if ingested.
Preventative Measures to Keep Your Pets Safe
There are several steps you can take to keep your pets safe from potential harm. Here are some preventative measures to consider:
1. Keep all toxic substances out of reach of pets. This includes medications, cleaning products, and other household items that may be harmful if ingested or inhaled.
2. Store food and treats for your pets in a secure location where pets can't reach them. Avoid giving them any human foods that are known to be toxic.
3. Be careful when using flea and tick treatments, and always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian. Some products can be toxic if ingested or applied improperly.
4. Be mindful of the plants you bring into your home, and choose ones that are safe for pets. If you're unsure, check with us or a pet poison control center.
5. Keep all medications, including pet medications, out of reach of pets. Don't leave pill bottles out, and make sure to properly dispose of any unused medications.
Signs and Symptoms of Poisoning in Pets
It's important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of poisoning in pets, as this can help you seek veterinary care quickly and potentially save your pet's life. Some of the most common signs of poisoning in pets include:
• Vomiting and diarrhea
• Excessive drooling
• Loss of appetite
• Lethargy or weakness
• Seizures or tremors
• Difficulty breathing or respiratory distress
• Disorientation or confusion
• Pale gums or tongue
• Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, or witnessed your pet getting into something toxic, seek veterinary care immediately. Time is of the essence when it comes to treating poisoning in pets, and delaying treatment can lead to serious complications or even death.
What to Do if You Suspect Your Pet Has Been Poisoned
If you suspect that your pet has been exposed to something toxic, don't wait for symptoms to appear. Call your veterinarian or a pet poison control center right away for advice on what to do next. Be prepared to provide information about the substance your pet may have ingested, how much they may have ingested, and how long ago the exposure occurred.
When In Doubt, Call Us
If you have any questions or concerns about toxic substances your pet may have been exposed to, don't hesitate to call Main Street to discuss the situation further. Our team of doctors and staff can provide guidance on how to keep your pets safe and what to do if they've been exposed to something toxic.
As pet owners, it's our responsibility to take proactive measures to keep our furry friends safe from potential harm. By being mindful of common toxic substances, taking preventative measures to keep them out of reach, and knowing the signs and symptoms of poisoning, we can help keep our pets safe from harm.
If you suspect that your pet has been exposed to something toxic, call Main Street or the ASPCA poison hotline at (888) 426-4435 for next steps. And if you have any questions or concerns about toxic substances or any other aspect of your pet's health and well-being, reach out to our office and we would be happy to help.
MAIN STREET VET, PERKIOMENVILLE
1335 N. Gravel Pike, Perkiomenville, PA 18074
MAIN STREET VET, SOUDERTON
201 North Main Street, Souderton, PA 18964