March is Poison Awareness Month! Did kitty eat or drink something poisonous?
By Claude West (The Cat Man)
What happens when you suspect or see your dog or cat consume a toxic substance? Do
you have an action plan already set up so you know what do to and who to call? Most folks are usually unprepared for disastrous events and panic when they occur.
Here are some simple tips for to keep handy should you think your pet is poisoned:
- Do not panic! The first thing you want to do is to collect whatever the pet was consuming even if all that is left is the container. Collect anything that you can quickly even the partially chewed substance or pet vomit can help identify the toxin and put this in a plastic sealable bag. Poison control and veterinarians are more able to treat your pet if they know what the substance is. If you have no idea what they ate or drank or did not observe them when they were consuming the toxin go to the next step.
- Always have a kennel (for smaller pets) readily available because you need to take your pet to the veterinarian or emergency pet hospital (whichever is closest). Your pet may not demonstrate any signs or symptoms of poisoning and do not use that as a measure of whether you bring your pet in. They may appear normal for long periods and time is critical so this step should be automatic for you.
You can also contact the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA) at (888)-426-4435(888)-426-4435 and
they do charge a consultation fee but well worth it for those individuals who live out in the country and there is not a pet hospital or veterinarian nearby. Keep this phone number along with your veterinarian’s and the pet emergency hospital where you can access them immediately.
- Ø Tip – You can write these numbers right on the kennel with a felt marker so you do not have to hunt for them in the phone or on a post it on the fridge.
- Ø Tip – The ASPCA has a store online that sells emergency first aid kits for pets. This could be a lifesaver if you are camping or living out in the country where emergency services are not readily available. The ASPCA also recommends that you receive instructions from them or your veterinarian on the proper use of the kit.
This is what the ASPCA recommends to have on hand at home, camping or traveling for your pets.
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 dish washing 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
This should also be part of your home disaster preparedness for hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. We often do not prepare ourselves much less our pets so take the time to assemble kits for pets and humans and store in a shed, basement or cellar. Do not bury the kits behind other items they should be the first accessible things in the storage area.