Friday, October 31, 2008

Holiday Hazards for Pets

I wrote this last holiday season. The info is relevant for Halloween also. Remember, chocolate is poisonous to your pets!


Holiday Hazards for Pets

It is that time of the year again. The holiday season. Pies, cakes, and cookies! Oh My! You can be sure Fluffy or Fido will be sneaking around trying to get a taste of those tasty vittles.

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Here is a list of hazardous items to look out for.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

- Alcoholic beverages

- Avocado

- Chocolate (all forms)

- Coffee (all forms)

-Fatty foods

- Macadamia nuts

-Moldy or spoiled foods

- Onions, onion powder

- Raisins and grapes

- Salt

- Yeast dough

- Garlic

- Products sweetened with xylitol

Warm Weather Hazards

- Animal toxins—toads, insects, spiders, snakes and scorpions

- Blue-green algae in ponds

- Citronella candles

- Cocoa mulch

- Compost piles Fertilizers

- Flea products

- Outdoor plants and plant bulbs

- Swimming-pool treatment supplies

- Fly baits containing methomyl

- Slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde

Medication

Common examples of human medications that can be potentially lethal to pets, even in small doses, include:

- Pain killers

- Cold medicines

- Anti-cancer drugs

- Antidepressants

- Vitamins

- Diet Pills

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Cold Weather Hazards

- Antifreeze

- Liquid potpourri

- Ice melting products

- Rat and mouse bait

Common Household Hazards

- Fabric softener sheets

- Mothballs

- Post-1982 pennies (due to high concentration of zinc)

Holiday Hazards

- Christmas tree water (may contain fertilizers and bacteria, which, if ingested, can upset the stomach.

- Electrical cords

- Ribbons or tinsel (can become lodged in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction—most often occurs with kittens!)

- Batteries - Glass ornaments

Non-toxic Substances for Dogs and Cats

The following substances are considered to be non-toxic, although they may cause mild gastrointestinal upset in some animals:

- Water-based paints

- Toilet bowl water*

- Silica gel

-Poinsettia

- Cat litter

- Glue traps

- Glow jewelry

*note: MOST toilet bowl cleaners/deodorizers/colorants are poisonous


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"OH BOY! Trick or Treaters!"


What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned:

- 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. Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center The telephone number is (888) 426-4435. There is a $55 consultation fee for this service. 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.

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"Why do you think I look guilty?"


Please note: 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. Be Prepared 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. Invest in an emergency first-aid kit for your pet.

The kit* should contain:

- a fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent USP (to induce vomiting)

- a 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 (to remove stingers)

- a muzzle (to protect against fear- or excitement-induced biting)

- a can of your pet’s favorite wet food

-a pet carrier

*Always consult a veterinarian or the APCC for directions on how and when to use any emergency first-aid item.

Have a safe holiday!

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