Top Pet Toxins of 2012

Published on March 16, 2013 by in Blog

According to the ASPCA, Animal Poison Control Center, they received more than 180,000 cases about pets possibly exposed to poisonous substances.  Tops among the breeds exposed to substances were Labrador Retrievers followed by domestic shorthair cats.
The top five poisons that caused pet parents to call the APCC for help in 2012 were:
1. Prescription Human Medications
APCC handled 25,000 cases regarding human prescription medications in 2012. The top three types of medications that animals were exposed to were: heart medications (blood pressure pills), antidepressants and pain medications (opioids and prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
2. Insecticides
While just 11% of all calls to the APCC are about insecticides, more than 50% of the calls to APCC involving cats pertain to felines exposed to insecticides.
3. Over-the-Counter Human Medications
This group contains acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen as well as herbal and nutraceutical products (fish oil, joint supplements).
4. Veterinary Products and Medications
Veterinary products made up nearly 6% of APCC’s case volume for 2012. Both OTC and prescription veterinary products are included in this group. Watch out for flavored tablets!
5. Household Products
APCC fielded more than 10,000 calls about household products in 2012. Household toxins can range from fire logs to cleaning products.

6. People Food

More than 5% of the cases in 2012 were related to the ingestion of people food. One particularly common food accidentally ingested by pets is xylitol (the sugar substitute). Xylitol can cause seizures and liver failure in dogs.

7. Chocolate

Chocolate is still the number one people food that pets ingest (we received over 8,500 calls last year). Too much chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, high heart rate and seizures.

8. Plants

More than 7,000 cases in 2012 were pet parents calling about their animals eating plants. This is one category that cats lead dogs in the number of exposures. Lilies can cause kidney failure and death in cats. The ASPCA publishes a list plants that are toxic to cats and dogs.

9. Rodenticides

When putting out baits to kill mice and rats, never underestimate the resourcefulness of your pet. Nearly 4% of calls to the APCC in 2012 were related to baits. Depending on the type of rodenticide, ingestion can cause internal bleeding, kidney failure or seizures.

10. Lawn and Garden Products

Fertilizers, which can be made of dried blood, poultry manure and bone meal, are very attractive to pets, so it is not surprising that we get many calls (almost 3,600 in 2012) on lawn and garden items.
If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435. There is a $65 consultation fee when contacting the Animal Poison Control Center.
Pet owners should also be aware of the locations and telephone numbers of the emergency veterinary centers in their area. Where I live, we are lucky to have a number of veterinary hospitals that provide this service. Here is a list of the centers along with their telephone numbers and addresses.
Red Bank Veterinary Hospital
1425 East Marlton Pike, Cherry Hill, NJ
Animal Emergency Services of South Jersey at Mt. Laurel Animal Hospital
220 Mount Laurel Road, Mount Laurel, NJ
315 Robbinsville Allentown Road
Robbinsville, NJ
Regional Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center
4250 Route 42
Turnersville, NJ
University of Pennsylvania Ryan Veterinary Hospital Emergency Service
3800 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA
Veterinary Emergency Center-Langhorne
301 Veterans Highway
Levittown, PA 19056
Veterinary Emergency Center-Philadelphia
1114 South Front Street
Philadelphia, PA
Your own personal veterinarian may be able to provide some emergency care services as well. Check with your vet’s office to ascertain the type of services they might provide in case of emergency.

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