10 Most Common Pet Poisons
Many common household items are poisonous to your pet. Learn what to watch for so you can help reduce the chances of losing your beloved pet to an avoidable poisoning.
1. Chocolate Chocolate is poisonous to pets due to its presence of methylxanthines. These compounds are similar to caffeine, but can cause serious medical problems for your pet if a significant amount is ingested. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in pets include panting, diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, seizures and excessive thirst and urination.
2. Fertilizers While fertilizers are generally considered to have a low toxicity, the consumption of fertilizers in a significant amount can lead to serious medical problems including diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting. Fertilizers often contain insecticides, which can further aggravate medical complications.
3. Herbicides Herbicides are also generally considered to have low levels of toxicity. However, it is important to use them only as directed and keep your pet away from areas where herbicides are used until they are completely dry. Many cases of reported herbicide poisoning result in the presence of skin irritations, upset stomach and vomiting.
4. Home Improvement Products Examples of home improvement products include glues, paint and certain solvents. While most of these home improvement products are water-based and are not typically life threatening, some products contain heavy metals that are poisonous to animals. Symptoms of home improvement product poisoning include eye and skin irritation, gastrointestinal tract problems and pneumonia.
5. Household Cleaners Household cleaners can be poisonous to pets if ingested and can cause irritations to the skin upon contact. Toxicity of household cleaners is highly dependent upon the circumstance and the product involved. Fortunately, gentle and homemade cleaning products are becoming more popular on the market today, as their hazards toward pets and humans become more widely known.
6. Human Medications Consumption of human medications is one of the most common substances that poison pets. Human medications are not designed for pets and can seriously harm or even fatality of a pet. The most commonly reported medications consumed by pets are cold medications, painkillers, dietary supplements and antidepressants.
7. Insecticides Insecticides are the second most commonly reported pet poison. While some insecticides are specifically designed for the treatment of pet insects (including fleas and ticks), it is important that the directions are closely followed. It is also important to note that some pets are more sensitive to treatment than others. Always exercise caution when using insecticides on your pet or in the home. Seek natural treatment alternatives when possible.
8. Plants Certain types of plants are poisonous to pets and should not be kept in the home; if you must keep them, arrange them in a manner that your pet does not have access to them. The effects of plant poisoning are highly dependent upon the pet and the plant involved. Some plants that are particularly poisonous to animals include lilies, rhododendron, schefflera, azalea and sago palm.
9. Rodenticides Many pets are poisoned from the ingestion of poisons created for the eradication of rats and mice. The ingestion of rodenticides can be potentially fatal to pets, causing symptoms of seizures, kidney and organ failure, and internal bleeding.
10. Veterinary Medications While these medications are typically produced and prescribed by a veterinarian for the treatment of specific conditions associated with your pet, it is essential that you follow the directions. Many pets are poisoned each year due to the inappropriate use of medications.
Just like all pet care, prevention of pet poisoning is dependent completely upon the owner of the pet. All poisonous substances should be used with caution and carefully stored in a location that the pet will not be able to access. If you are aware of the common causes of pet poisonings, you can feel confident in taking steps to prevent the accidental poisoning and harm of your own pet.
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