Wednesday, March 17, 2010

National Poison Prevention Week

Spring has definitely arrived in Ohio this past week. How can I tell? The clinic has turned into our own version of Emergency Vet. Dogs hit by cars, in dog fights, cut legs, impaled on stick (I'll share the pictures of this one later), gunshot wounds. Warm weather = dogs running loose or sometimes just playing in the backyard a little too exuberantly. That all adds up to dogs getting into trouble. Believe me, my dogs are not immune to cut pads or sliced open tails. The word is that the E.R. at the local human hospital is going crazy with trauma cases too. Like I said, spring is here.

With all the dogs and cats outside exploring for the first time after months and months of snow, there sure are a lot of ways for them to get in trouble. Then this morning I open my Internet news feed and find that lo and behold this week is National Poison Prevention week. What a good time to remind ourselves to be on the lookout for things that can poison our animal buddies. / CC BY 2.0

I chose the common toad to represent this topic because some toads are known to be poisonous and because toads make a much cuter picture than a bottle of pills or a box of rat bait. Now the toads in Ohio are not the real dangerous variety, but they certainly cause some irritation in the mouth if a dog gets hold of one. I find it quite interesting to watch my dogs and toads. Young dogs will taste a toad once. My dogs now know toads. They will be trotting down the sidewalk, see a toad and make a w-i-d-e path around the toad. Quite comical actually.

As far as more common and much more dangerous poisonings, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has published their top 10 poisonings for 2009.

  • Human Medications
  • Insecticides
  • People food (yes people food! Follow the link above for more information)
  • Plants
  • Veterinary Medications
  • Rodenticides
  • Household cleaners
  • Heavy metals
  • Garden products
  • Chemical hazards

Check out this handout on Poison Proofing Your Home. Very well written and helpful information.

After you follow all the steps to prevent poisonings, we all know that animals will be animals and sometimes accidents happen. The Pet Poison Helpline provides a 24 hour service to help both pet owners and veterinarians in cases of potential pet poisonings. There is a small fee for the service, but these folks are well worth the information they provide.

So happy spring everyone! It sure is nice to see the sun shining for a change!

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