Many plants, pills, and substances are lurking in and around your house and they can be very dangerous if ingested by your cat or dog. Sometimes you may not even imagine that something so apparently unpalatable would be of interest, but we’ve all seen how, especially dogs, but sometimes cats as well, will eat first and think about it later.
Are you aware of these toxins?
Prescription and over-the-counter drugs
- Acetominophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen, aspirin, anti-depressants, cold and flu medications, any prescription medications at all, whether originally prescribed for humans for pets, if taken by the unintended and in excessive amounts can be poisonous.
- Make sure you properly close bottles and keep them in a closed cupboard or drawer. Some pets may chew right through a plastic pill vial!
Mouse and Rat Poison: (also called rodenticide, warfarin, brodifacoum, RAT-AK and many other names).
- These rodent poisons are poisonous! It may take 7-10 days to see any effects, but they will prevent blood from clotting and can cause severe, life-threatening bleeding in your pet if enough is eaten.
- They often taste good and they are often left at ground level – a dangerous combination.
- Make sure you keep the bag/packaging and take it in with you to your vet if you suspect your pet has been exposed.
- Lillies, azaleas, kalanchoe, rhododendron, tulip/narcissus bulbs, sago palm, schefflera, oleander, castor bean, chrysanthemum, cyclamen, yew, English ivy, and many more plants can be poisonous to cats and dogs.
- Toxic effects on pets range from mild to severe irritation to the mouth and throat, kidney failure, liver failure, seizure, or much worse.
- It’s best to keep all household plants except for cat nip and cat grass away from your cat.
Marijuana or other recreational drugs:
- It’s never funny: It’s always serious if your pet ingests any recreational drugs.
- Tell your veterinarian what has been eaten so the correct treatment can be given.
Common Household cleaners:
- Bleach, detergents, disinfectants, other cleaning products.
- These may cause mild to severe irritation to the skin, the mouth, the throat, eyes, digestive tract and respiratory tract.
The Compost pile:
- Sometimes ingestion of rotting compost or other plant material can be a source of a fungal toxin that causes seizures and tremors in dogs. Try to keep your dog from getting into the pile!
If your cat or dog has ingested or been exposed to a toxin, call your vet. Bring the container or a piece of the plant with you to show the doctor.
And of course, the sooner you deal with the problem, the better the outcome will be.
Your best bet … have a look around your house for potential risks: Plants? Pills? Chemicals? Make them as inaccessible to your cat or dog as you can. Prevent a poisoned pet emergency from being on your agenda this weekend!