Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A. Yes, indeed. While some pet poisonings are a result of something an animal gets into that is a known poison, like a
rodenticide, a surprising number of cases come from something intentionally given to an animal by an owner who's trying to help. The classic example of the latter is when an elderly
cat is given an extra-strength
acetaminophen for arthritis. The owner is trying to help, but unfortunately even one capsule of this common human medicine can kill a
cat. As for dogs, they can figure out their way into trouble that their owners never envisioned. This includes opening cabinets to get cleaning products and counter-surfing to reach food items and pill vials.
Take preventive measures. You need to realize that pets are basically like toddlers who can open any childproof container that is not locked up or hidden away, and you should take similar precautions to keep your pets safe and healthy.
Recognize the symptoms. Even with preventive measures in place, it is important to know the signs of poisoning. Many (but not all) substances first cause stomach upset, including
vomiting and diarrhea. It's not fun, but vomit must be examined for evidence of chewed packaging, plants, food, pills or other important clues. Many poisonings progress to weakness and depression or nervous stimulation, including tremors and seizures. Pets may stop eating and drinking, or may drink excessive amounts, which could suggest liver or kidney involvement. Rapid or slow breathing, with changes in tongue and gum color — from pink to white, blue or brown — is important.
Get help, fast. If you suspect poisoning, stay calm. Panicking will not help your pet and may waste precious time. If your pet is not showing any serious signs of illness described above, contact your regular veterinarian or the
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) to determine if your pet needs to be seen by a vet or if treatment can be given at home.
If your pet is having difficulty breathing, having seizures, or is bleeding or unconscious, go to your regular veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately. Take any evidence, including chewed containers and labels, and even vomit. This information is key to helping your veterinarian save your pet. Be sure you always have the numbers of your pet's regular veterinarian, your local veterinary emergency clinic and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in an easily accessible location. It could save your pet's life.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
In a massive airlift, 33 circus lions from
Peru and Colombia boarded a flight to a
sanctuary in South Africa.
Saturday is National Adopt a Shelter Pet
Day, so we’re featuring photos of shelter
pets our readers have rescued!
We looked at our database of more than
78,000 Persian cat names to come up
with the top male and female monikers.
In honor of National Hairball Awareness
Day today, Dr. Patty Khuly is sharing four
expert tips on how to prevent…
Secondhand smoke isn't just hazardous
for humans — it can cause many of the
same illnesses in pets, too.
The APBT has a formidable reputation
and appearance, but he is meant to be a
dog who loves and accepts people.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Visit HealthyPet magazine for interviews with pet-loving celebrities, health advice from our experts, training tips and…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.