Last week, I gave a quick rundown of some of the common household items, foods, and medications that are dangerous for pets. Before your pet is in an emergency situation, it pays to have an action plan in case pet poisons are ingested. Time is of the essence and knowing what to do could save your pets life.
Here are some tips to help save your pet’s life.
- Know where to go – Have a discussion with your own veterinarian on what types of emergencies he or she is able to handle at their clinic. Make a note of what is beyond their scope including a list of pet poisons that could be problematic and go straight to an emergency vet when those situations occur. You should know where the 24-hour emergency veterinary clinics are in your area.
- Program your smart phone – You should have the phone number to your veterinarian, the emergency vet, the ASPCA poison hotline saved to your phone. Keeping a list of medications, health issues and other vital information should also be at your fingertips in case a pet poisoning becomes an issue. There are a variety of apps available that make it easier to keep track of what you need to know. The ASPCA also has a pet poisons app.
- Don’t panic – Take a minute or two to calmly collect the material ingested by your pet. Don’t forget to take the products container with you and collect in a seal-able plastic bag anything your pet may have chewed and/or thrown up. This could be vital in helping your vet determine the best course of action. Don’t hesitate to seek help even if your pet appears OK, it may be a few days before he or she shows symptoms.
- Call ahead – If your pet is having seizures, has lost consciousness or is having difficulty breathing, call ahead to let the vet or emergency vet know you’re on the way.
- Call for help – You may need to call the ASPCA Poison Help line at 888-426-4435. There is a $65 consultation fee. You will need to tell them the species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved. You’ll also need to give them the symptoms, information regarding what they ingested and how much and have the product package available for reference.
- Secure your pet – Make sure your pet is secured in a carrier or safely strapped in the car. Some pets may be more aggressive or agitated when sick. Approach your pet calmly and safely to protect yourself.
- Be prepared – Invest in a pet first-aid kit. Items should include a fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide (3% USP) to induce vomiting, a turkey baster or syringe to administer peroxide, saline eye solution and artificial tear gel. Other items should include mild grease-cutting dish washing liquid (for bathing an animal after skin contamination), forceps to remove stingers, a muzzle and a can of your pet’s favorite food.
It’s Easter weekend and the chocolate and pretty Easter Lilies that are part of the season should be kept away from pets. Chocolate and Lilies are both very dangerous for pets to ingest. Check out my previous story for a list of more foods and common household items to avoid.
Learn more about poison prevention and what to do when your pet eats the wrong thing on the ASPCA Poison Prevention site.
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