Poison is not necessarily labelled ‘danger’ or marked with an ‘x’. In fact, many of the poisons that are most dangerous to pets are common household items like human medication and plants. If your pet starts drooling, frothing, convulsing, vomiting, crying, has difficulty breathing, won’t eat, stumbles or has pale gums, get him or her to the vet immediately. Try to identify the item he or she might have eaten so that your vet can know what to treat for.
Here are 7 common pet poisons around your home:
- Human medication: ibuprofen, paracetamol, anti-depressants, blood pressure medication, vitamin D and many other human medicines are toxic to pets. It is always advisable to keep medication locked away – from pets and children.
- Rat, mole and ant killers: never, ever sprinkle ant, mole or rat killer powders or pellets near your pets, or near where they eat, sleep or play. And be aware that if your dog is a terrier that likes to hunt and your neighbour puts poison down for his rats, there is a chance your dog may catch the dying rat and ingest the poison (see the dog owner’s story below). There are myriad other ways to rid your home and yard of pests; just do it safely for your pet’s sake.
- Plants: some plants must be eaten or chewed to make your pet ill but others like the Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’ also has a sap that can severely burn the skin. Lilies, oleander, cyclamen, azaleas and rhododendron are all poisonous to pets. Ask your nursery for a list of plants to avoid in areas where your pet likes to play.
- People food: top of the list are chocolate the sweetener xylitol https://www.ebervet.com/xylitol-is-deadly-to-dogs/but also dangerous are alcohol, grapes and raisins, onions and garlic and macadamia nuts. Stick to pet-friendly chews and treats available from EberVet Vetshops or your nearest vet clinic.
- Tick and flea medication: it is always best go get advice from your vet or ask your EberVet Vetshop for a recommendation when purchasing parasite control for your pets. Some that work well on dogs can be deadly to cats; some cannot be applied to pregnant or lactating bitches and puppies and kittens need special vigilance.
- Household cleaners: bleach, swimming pool chemicals and anti-freeze are all absolute no-nos around pets. Keep your cleaners out of harm’s way.
- Garden products: fertilisers and weed killers, snail bait and bug spray are all potentially dangerous to pets. Be particularly vigilant if you have a fish pond: do not spray insecticide near the pond, or when the wind is blowing.
If you think your dog has been poisoned, try to stay calm. It is important to act quickly, but rationally. First, gather up any of the potential poison that remains — this may be helpful to your veterinarian and any outside experts who assist with the case. If your dog has vomited, collect the sample in case your veterinarian needs to see it.
Never, ever try to self-medicate your pet or try to induce vomiting without talking to your vet first. If your pet has eaten rat poison, the symptoms may only show up two weeks later. If you see him eating it, get him to the vet immediately even if he looks absolutely fine. If we wait for symptoms to show, it’ll be too late to save him.
Keep this number pinned to your fridge, and recorded in your phone:
Poison Hotline 0861 555 777