Top 10 Pet Poisons of 2009

Here are the top 10 pet poisons of 2009 (source: ASCPA)

1. Human medications
Prescription and over the counter drugs: painkillers, cold meds, antidepressants and dietary supplements.

2. Insecticides
Most common is the misuse of flea and tick products, such as applying the wrong topical treatment to the wrong species.

There are alternative non toxic ways to eliminate fleas. Check out how to get rid of fleas and ticks without chemicals and pesticides.

3. Human food

Grapes, raisins, avocado and products containing xylitol, like gum can cause serious disability to pets.

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Chocolate contains large amounts of methylxanthines, which, if ingested in significant amounts, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, and in severe cases, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures.

4. Plants
Common harmful house plants: azalea, rhododendron, sago palm, lilies, kalanchoe and schefflera. Lilies are especially toxic to cats, and can cause life-threatening kidney failure even in small amounts.

5. Veterinary medications
Although vet meds are meant for pets, the improper dosage or application of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,
heartworm preventatives, de-wormers, antibiotics, vaccines and nutritional supplements by pet owners can be harmful.

6. Rodenticides
Pets can accidentally ingest rat and mouse poisons. Potential life threatening problems are bleeding, seizures or kidney damage. Be sure to keep baits away from the reach of pets.

7. Household cleaners
Toxic household cleaners such as bleaches, detergents and disinfectants can cause serious gastrointestinal distress and irritation to the respiratory tract when inhaled by pets.

8. Heavy metals
Poisonous heavy metals: lead, zinc and mercury. Lead is especially pernicious, and pets are exposed to it through many
sources, including consumer products, paint chips, linoleum, and lead dust produced when surfaces in older homes are scraped or sanded.

9 Garden products
Certain types of fertilizer and garden products can cause severe gastric upset and possibly gastrointestinal obstruction.

10. Chemical hazards
Chemical hazards–found in ethylene glycol antifreeze, paint thinner, drain cleaners and pool/spa chemicals–form a substantial danger to pets. Substances in this group can cause gastrointestinal upset, depression, respiratory difficulties and chemical burns.

What you can do

The key is prevention, so make sure you keep potential hazards out of the reach of your pet.

Watch out for signs of poisoning and bring your pet to the vet for immediate treatment.

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