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Frequently Asked Questions: Pet Poisoning
March 15, 2024

National Animal Poison Prevention Week starts March 17th this year, reminding pet owners to be proactive. Poisonings are a significant concern, often requiring emergency vet care. But there’s hope! Your local Bellaire, TX vet provides essential tips to mitigate these risks in this informative article.

What’s the Yearly Incidence of Pet Poisoning?

It’s disheartening to see the numbers. Here in the U.S., over 401,500 cases of pet poisoning are reported every year.

What Foods Are Potentially Harmful to Pets?

Fido and Fluffy must avoid plenty of popular foods! If you aren’t sure of which, take note of the items listed below.

  • Garlic
  • Caffeine
  • Grapes
  • Junk Food
  • Chives
  • Many nuts, such as macadamia nuts
  • Raisins
  • Alcohol
  • Currants
  • Anything That Contains Xylitol (Birch Sugar)
  • Scallions
  • Onions
  • Chocolate

Your Bellaire, TX vet is the best source for more information on this topic.

What Are the Commonly Encountered Household Items That Are Toxic to Dogs and Cats?

You may find it startling just how many everyday household items can be fatal to your furry loved one.

Cleaning Products: It is reasonable to believe that all household cleaning products are hazardous to pets. Bleach, disinfectants, furniture polish and oil, detergent, drain openers, mold killers, and other chemicals are all potentially harmful.

Automotive Products: Antifreeze ranks among the most perilous substances for pets, particularly with its enticing flavors in certain versions. Choosing a pet-safe option is a crucial step, though it doesn’t eliminate all risks. Gasoline, oils, paints, cleaners, and wiper fluids also pose considerable threats. Keep pets away from chemical areas and quickly clean any antifreeze or chemical spills.

Lawn/Garden Products: These circumstances are distressing as pets can easily consume these substances. Slug bait or snail bait is exceedingly dangerous to dogs due to Metaldehyde, found in multiple brands.

Be mindful of fertilizers, fungicides, weed killers, and herbicides. Pets can easily accumulate these chemicals on their fur as they move through treated areas.

What Plants Are Unsafe for Pets?

Numerous animals enjoy munching on plants. Although it can be adorable, something can also be very risky. We’ll stay with some of the most popular hazardous plants because the entire list would take up too much space on this page. When it comes to cats, lilies are at the front of the list. Even in extremely small concentrations, they can be deadly to cats. It only takes Fluffy a few nibbles on a leaf or a tiny drink of water to get sick. Sago palms are among the most hazardous plants for Fido.

Here are some of the most harmful ones:

  • Sago palm
  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Widow’s-thrill
  • Foxglove
  • Lilies
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Rhododendron
  • Ivy
  • Daffodils
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Birds of Paradise
  • Irises
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Common daisy
  • Amaryllis
  • Aloë
  • Tulips
  • Hyacinth
  • Oleander
  • Crocus
  • Holly
  • Hydrangea
  • Peonies

As a general principle, anything with a bulb should be considered unsafe for pets. This includes tulips, daffodils, onions, and garlic. For more details on plant safety, visit the ASPCA website.

Keep in mind that plants not considered toxic can still be hazardous. Roses, for example, have sharp thorns that could lead to severe internal injuries if ingested. Consult your Bellaire, TX vet for more information.

What Household Essentials Are Unsafe for Pets?

Furthermore, here are some additional examples:

Pesticides: Exercise caution when using bug spray, rodenticides, and mouse or rat bait—items intended to eradicate pests—as they can pose serious risks to your furry friend. Several rodenticides contain warfarin, an anticoagulant that can lead to severe and potentially fatal internal bleeding.

Flea and tick medications are listed as well, known to be safe if administered correctly. Nevertheless, doubling the dose or using an incorrect dosage could put your pet at risk of poisoning.

Medication: We advise taking extra care to keep medications out of reach of your pets. Some of the most dangerous include aspirin, acetaminophen, and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen. Keep both over-the-counter and prescription medications securely stored away from Fido and Fluffy.

Are Pets at Risk from Salt Lamps?

It’s possible! Some pets find salt lamps appealing. Fluffy and Fido might excessively lick the lamp, exposing themselves to the risk of salt poisoning. Nonetheless, you can still have a salt lamp; just ensure it’s positioned where your pets can’t reach.

Do Cats and Dogs Share the Same Poison Worries?

It’s a mix of yes and no. By and large, both cats and dogs share susceptibility to similar toxic substances. Yet, Fido and Fluffy’s behaviors and instincts vary. Cats, particularly, may face heightened sickness risks from substances spilling on or coming into contact with their fur. Fluffy’s sensitive skin and grooming tendencies increase her risk of toxin exposure. Cats may become ill from walking through pesticide-treated areas and ingesting toxins during grooming. This risk also applies to dogs; Fido may ingest dangerous substances by licking his paws.

One more dissimilarity? Dogs frequently engage in consuming or chewing on a variety of objects. While some dogs outgrow this habit after teething, others remain enthusiastic chewers well into adulthood.

How Do You Recognize Poisoning Symptoms in Pets?

Symptoms will vary depending on the poison’s type and quantity ingested. Nevertheless, there are some common signs to watch out for. These include:

  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Diarrhea
  • Coma
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Shock
  • Twitching
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Excessive Urination
  • Weakness
  • Drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Collapse
  • Wobbling/Lurching Gait
  • Lethargy
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Excessive Thirst

When feeling unwell, cats commonly withdraw, while dogs may show signs of sadness. Additionally, unusual behaviors, ranging from grumpiness to clinginess, may be observed.

Remember, these symptoms may signal various issues. Contact your Bellaire, TX vet immediately if you notice anything concerning.

Can Pets Be Exposed to Essential Oils Safely?

Aromatherapy is commonly included in health and wellness regimens by many. While pets can derive benefits, caution is essential. The high concentration of oils can be hazardous. Cats, being sensitive to chemicals, are especially at risk.

Here are several of the unsafe ones:

  • Clove
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus Oils
  • Juniper
  • Wintergreen
  • Anise
  • Pine
  • Sweet Birch
  • Peppermint
  • Wintergreen
  • Pennyroyal
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Ylang Ylang

Take precautions; keep perfumes and oils out of your furry friend’s reach.

What Items Are Dangerous to Birds?

Bird owners should exercise additional vigilance. Polly’s delicate respiratory system is incredibly sensitive. Fumes that are safe or pleasant for humans can make your feathered companion sick. This includes scented candles, incense, perfume, and air fresheners. Cooking fumes and aerosols also pose risks to birds.

If I’m Suspecting My Pet Has Been Poisoned, What to Do?

Acting promptly is crucial; your furry friend’s life could be on the line, so procrastination is not recommended.

Your first action should involve contacting your Bellaire, TX vet. In case it’s outside regular hours, contact an emergency clinic. Utilize a pet poison hotline for guidance if necessary. Among several options, you can reach the ASPCA at (888) 426-4435. (Note: charges may apply.) Immediate veterinary care is essential for Fido or Fluffy, but it’s best to call ahead for preparation. You might also be advised on performing first aid, including administering hydrogen peroxide.

Follow instructions precisely and refrain from giving anything unless advised by your vet or a poison helpline professional. Taking incorrect actions might be more hazardous than taking no action.

Questions about your pet’s safety, health, or care? We’re here to help! Contact Corner Vet Bellaire for assistance.