Poison prevention means keep out of reach for pets, too

Doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners specialty and emergency hospitals are encouraging people to remember their pets when it comes to poison prevention. The goal is to create awareness and prevent injury or death due to poisoning to dogs, cats and other pets.

"Pets are more likely than humans to eat things that are toxic to them,” said Dr. Laura Gibeon, a BluePearl senior clinician. “Some of the potentially life-threatening toxins may come as a surprise to owners. It is therefore essential to know what types of items can be toxic to your pet."

The Top Ten toxins

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Top Ten pet toxins of 2012 were:

1. Prescription human medications

2. Insecticides

3. Over-the-counter human medications

4. Veterinary products and medications

5. Household products

6. People food

7. Chocolate

8. Plants

9. Rodenticides

10. Lawn and garden products

Avoid garlic, grapes and onions

Additionally, garlic, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, raisins, the sugar substitute Xylitol, and raw or undercooked food can create major problems for pets.

While rodenticides (or rat poison) may not be intended for pets, they are designed to attract animals. Should pets encounter these indiscriminate poisons, the condition is life-threatening and the pet must be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Antifreeze can kill

Antifreeze is another toxic substance pets are often attracted to. If ingested, pets can almost certainly die if the condition is left untreated.

Furthermore, now that spring has arrived, it's important to recognize that lilies can be deadly to cats.

Bring packaging to the vet

If a pet does ingest something that may be toxic, owners should make sure to bring the label or packaging of the substance with them to the veterinarian.

For example, there are two different types of rodenticides with two different forms of treatment. It's important for veterinarians to know what substance they are treating for.

"Most importantly, if you believe your pet has eaten or ingested something that may be poisonous, contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian immediately," Gibeon said. "Getting prompt veterinary attention can be the difference between life and death."

About BluePearl Veterinary Partners

BluePearl Veterinary Partners was formed in 2008 and employs more than 1,200 people, including about 250 veterinarians. BluePearl vet hospitals offer 24-hour emergency care services.