AN EMERGENCY FIRST-AID KIT FOR YOUR PET
Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, so it’s smart to be prepared in case of an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center recommends that you either purchase or put together yourself, an emergency first-aid kit for your pet. The kit should contain:
• Fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent USP (to induce vomiting)
• Turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe (to administer peroxide)
• Saline eye solution
• Artificial tear gel (to lubricate eyes after flushing)
• Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid (for bathing an animal after skin contamination)
• Forceps or tweezers (to remove stingers)
• Muzzle (to protect against fear- or excitement-induced biting)
• Can of your pet’s favorite wet food
• Pet carrier
Always consult a veterinarian or the APCC for directions on how and when to use any emergency first-aid item. And keep the telephone number of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center—(888) 426-4435—as well as that of your local veterinarian in a prominent location. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is staffed by 30 veterinarians, including 13 who are board-certified in general and veterinary toxicology. In addition, their experts use Antox, a unique veterinary medical database system providing the most timely and accurate information on the potential effects of poisons and how to manage exposures to them. The APCC experts are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The call is toll-free.
Please be aware that a $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PET IS POISONED
According to the ASPCA,
DON’T PANIC. Rapid response is important, but panicking can interfere with the process of helping your pet. Take 30 to 60 seconds to safely collect and have at hand any material involved. This may be of great benefit to your vet and/or APCC toxicologists, as they determine what poison or poisons are involved. In the event that you need to take your pet to a local veterinarian, be sure to take the product’s container with you. Also, collect in a sealable plastic bag any material your pet may have vomited or chewed.
If you witness your pet consuming material that you suspect might be toxic, do not hesitate to seek emergency assistance, even if you do not notice any adverse effects. Sometimes, even if poisoned, an animal may appear normal for several hours or for days after the incident.
If you suspect that your pet may have become exposed to a harmful substance, but is not showing signs of illness, stay calm! Contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline at (888) 426-4435 first. Not all exposure situations require an immediate trip to the clinic.
Be ready with the following information:
* The species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved.
* The animal’s symptoms.
* Information regarding the exposure, including the agent (if known), the amount of the agent involved and the time elapsed since the time of exposure.
* Have the product container/packaging available for reference if possible.
If your animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing, telephone ahead and bring your pet immediately to your local veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic. If necessary, he or she may call the APCC.
The following is a list of the 17 most common poisonous plants. However, it’s important to keep in mind that even "safe" or non-toxic plants can produce minor stomach upset if ingested. For details on specific plants, or for a full list of toxic plants, visit the ASPCA Web site:
www.aspca.org/apcc. The top 17 are:
Lilies ♦Marijuana ♦Sago Palm ♦Tulip/Narcissus bulbs ♦Azalea/Rhododendron ♦Oleander ♦Castor Bean ♦Cyclamen ♦Kalanchoe ♦Yew ♦Amaryllis ♦Autumn Crocus ♦Chrysanthemum ♦English Ivy ♦Peace Lily (AKA Mauna Loa Peace Lily)
Pothos ♦Schefflera ♦Pointsettias (The sap is an irritant to a cat’s or dog’s mouth and stomach, sometimes causing vomiting, but generally over-rated in toxicity.)
PEOPLE FOODS TO AVOID FEEDING YOUR PETS
These foods may taste delicious to you, but they’re actually quite dangerous for our animal companions. Experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center have created this handy list of the top toxic "people foods" to avoid feeding your pets:
Alcoholic beverages ✖ Avocado ✖ Chocolate (all forms) ✖ Coffee (all forms)
Caffeine ✖ Milk ✖ Fatty foods ✖ Macadamia nuts
✖ Moldy or spoiled foods ✖ Onions, onion powder ✖ Raisins and grapes ✖ Salt, salty foods
✖ Yeast dough ✖ Garlic, Chives ✖ Products sweetened with xylitol
✖ Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones