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Poison prevention: Keeping your pets safe from common household items

Family pets by Karl Nielsen, Benicia, CA
Kiki & Newman Xmas 12

Just got the very important news release below this morning. Please read it carefully. It could save the life of your family pet(s). /Gary

National Poison Prevention Week March 20-26

Keeping Your Pets Safe from Common Household Items

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (March 7, 2011) – For 46 years, the third week in March has been designated as National Poison Prevention Week by U.S. Public Law 87-319. This year, it is observed March 20-26. According to the National Safety Council, thousands of lives have been saved due to physical barriers like child-resistant packaging and awareness campaigns. Likewise, in recent years, the veterinarians at have worked tirelessly to raise awareness about protecting our vulnerable and unknowing pets from common household items that are highly poisonous to them.

“Every year, we receive thousands of phone calls from pet owners, veterinarians and veterinary technicians about potentially poisoned pets,” said Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC and associate director of Veterinary Services for Pet Poison Helpline. “Fifty percent of the calls are for pets that have been accidentally poisoned by something that is safe for humans, but toxic to pets. It only takes a few minutes to educate yourself on how to avoid these situations. Appropriate pet-proofing and awareness of what to do in the event of a pet poisoning situation could spare you and your pet trips to the veterinarian for expensive, but life-saving treatments.”
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Posted on Monday, March 7th, 2011
Under: Pets & Poisons, Poison, Poisonous plants | No Comments »

Pet poisoning: Main sources of pet poisoning revealed

Pet kitten

Just got the information below on pet poisoning from Veterinary Pet Insurance Company. Pet owners should definitely read this and take all necessary precautions to keep your own pets from being poisoned. /Gary

Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Reveals the Sources of Pet poisoning
Poisoning Incidents Cost Pet Owners Millions Each year

Pet owners often joke about pets being like vacuum cleaners literally eating anything put in front of them. Unfortunately, that lack of dietary discretion too often results in pets ingesting toxic substances, emergency visits to the veterinarian, and large medical bills. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) has analyzed its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to find the sources behind the hundreds of poisoning claims submitted to VPI every month.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
Under: Pets, Poison, Poisonous plants | No Comments »

National Poison Prevention Week: Protect your pets from poisons

Lab photo by Flickr user kevin rodriguez ortiz used under a Creative Commons License
lab kevin rodriguez ortiz

ASPCA Reminds Pet Parents: Protect Your Pet from Perilous Poisons

It’s National Poison Prevention Week and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reminds us that there are a LOT of poisons that our pets can encounter around the house while going about their everyday activities during the week. Please keep that in mind and read the following information carefully. You might even want to print it out and post it on your refrigerator door. It couldn’t hurt. /Gary

From the ASPCA:
Has your dog ever chomped on chocolate? Does your kitty like to snack on plants? In observance of National Poison Prevention Week (March 14 to March 20), the ASPCA sheds light on the most common dangers pets may encounter, and offers helpful advice for poison-proofing your home.
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Posted on Monday, March 15th, 2010
Under: ASPCA, Poison, Poisonous plants | 3 Comments »

Pet care tips for Valentine’s Day & all year long

Jasmine the cat by Bogue

From time-to-time I get news releases sent to me that are filled with handy information that should be useful to pet owners and others. If you have a pet living with your family, I think you’ll find the information below to be very helpful. /Gary

Pet Poison Helpline has compiled a list of 14 ways pet owners can shower their pets with love and affection – not only on Valentine’s Day – but year round. From making sure pets stay fit, to keeping poisonous items out of reach, the following tips will ensure pets stay healthy and happy and will (hopefully) be around for many Valentine’s Days to come.
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Posted on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
Under: Cats, dogs, Pets, Pets & Poisons, Pets in Danger, Poison, Poisonous plants | No Comments »

Christmas & New Year: Keep your pets safe during the holidays

Photo by Flickr user Lee Coursey used under a Creative Commons License
catdog Lee Coursey

Helpful hints from The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States is reminding people that as they celebrate the season, many of the things that make the holidays special — the hustle and bustle of travel and large gatherings, festive food and beverage, and holiday decorations and plants- may also pose hazards for our canine and feline friends.

With a few simple precautions, our pets can share this special time with us safely. The Humane Society of the United States offers the following tips to keep our four legged family members healthy and happy:
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Posted on Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
Under: Chocolate & Pets, Pets, Poisonous plants | 2 Comments »

Top toxins for pets. Tips to keep YOUR pets safe


Has your dog ever chomped on chocolate? Does your kitty like to snack on plants?

In observance of National Poison Prevention Week (March 15 to March 21), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals sent me the following information that sheds light on the most common dangers your pets may encounter, and offers helpful advice for poison-proofing your home.

Read this carefully. It might even be a good idea to print out and post this information on your refrigerator door. After all … the life you save may be that of your special pet.
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Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Under: ASPCA, Cats, dogs, Pets, Poison, Poisonous plants | No Comments »

Brunfelsia, “Morning, Noon & Night” plant is poisonous to pets

ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center warns pet owners about deadly plant

Since a gardener’s Eden can quickly turn to purgatory for inquisitive pets, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reminds us that many plants and flowers have the potential to cause life-threatening illnesses in both dogs and cats.

One such plant, and a favorite of many gardeners, is Brunfelsia, also known as “Morning, Noon, and Night” or “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” An ornamental plant that thrives in the gardens of warmer climates, or year-round in pots, Brunfelsia has fragrant flowers that bloom in a vivid purple and gradually change to lavender before fading to white.
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Posted on Friday, April 11th, 2008
Under: Cats, dogs, Pets, Pets & Poisons, Poisonous plants | 2 Comments »

Pet owners unintentionally harm thousands of pets each year

In the average household, many pets are only one bite away from disaster.

I found this information in my morning mail. It’s definitely worth a read:
Veterinary Pet Insurance of Brea, California, recently analyzed its medical claims data to determine the most commonly ingested household toxins and poisons. VPI ranked the toxic substances by the number of claims received in 2007 for each type.

Shockingly, the most dangerous poisons by far appear to be human medications intentionally given to pets by their owners!

Here is the list of top household toxins, with 2007 claim counts and prevention pointers for each.

1. Drug Reactions (3,455 claims) — VPI received more claims for drug reactions than all other poisoning claims combined in 2007. Many of these claims involved pets given drugs intended for human consumption, such as over-the-counter pain relievers. Pet owners often give pets over-the-counter or prescription drugs for their ailments, unaware that even given in small amounts, many of these drugs cannot be metabolized by pets fast enough to prevent an overdose. Never give pets medications without consulting a veterinarian.

2. Rodenticide (870 claims) — Even if these poisons, most often sold in pellet form, are placed away from pets, rodents can carry them to pet-occupied areas. The taste and smell of rodenticides is designed to appeal to small mammals. Pet owners should consider other options for eliminating rodents.

3. Methylxanthine (755 claims) — The methylxanthine class of chemical compounds includes theobromine and caffeine, both of which are common ingredients in chocolate. Toxic amounts of theobromine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, hyperactivity, abnormal rhythms of the heart, or even seizures in pets. Unsweetened baking chocolate contains much higher levels of theobromine than milk chocolate, causing toxicity with the consumption of much smaller amounts.

4. Plant Poisoning (466 claims) — Many household plants can be toxic to pets, including sago palms, tulips, oleander, hyacinths, poinsettias, azaleas, lilies, and amaryllis. Other plant products including onions, grapes and raisins are also categorized under the company’s plant toxicity code. Pet owners should exercise extra caution when pets are near these plants and abstain from giving grapes and raisins as treats.

5. Household Chemicals (313 claims) — Pets will get into just about anything with bright colors and strong odors. Ingestion of cleaning supplies such as bleach, liquid potpourri, even deodorant or toiletries can result in an ill pet. Keep these items secured.

6. Metaldehyde (88 claims) — This deadly component of snail bait can also attract pets. Signs usually occur quickly and include vomiting and whole body tremors. Pet owners should consider alternative methods for getting rid of snails and slugs.

7. Organophosphate (60 claims) — This group of insecticides works to inactivate acetylcholinesterase, which is essential to nerve function in insects and pets. Ingestion can occur through skin absorption or oral intake. The chemicals degrade quickly after being sprayed outside, but pets should not be exposed to any area that has recently been sprayed.

8. Toad Poisoning (58 claims) — Some species of toad, particularly along the Gulf Coast, secrete a toxic substance when threatened — or licked by curious dogs. Toxic effects are immediate and can be life-threatening. Make sure to regularly monitor pets when outdoors to reduce exposure to hazardous creatures.

9. Heavy metals (48 claims) — Mercury, lead or excessive amounts of zinc, iron, cobalt and copper can cause serious illness in pets, especially if allowed to accumulate in a pet’s body. Pets may be exposed to heavy metals through lead-based paint, ingestion of pennies coined after 1982, vitamins, soil contamination, or water pollutants.

10. Antifreeze (36 claims) — The sweet taste of antifreeze appeals to pets. While most people are aware of the poisonous potential of antifreeze, they may not notice a pool collecting from a leak beneath a car. Regularly give a glance beneath the car and clean any spills immediately.

Please make sure the above information doesn’t apply to you.

Are you using poisons in your house or yard? Don’t. Are you giving human drugs to your pets WITHOUT the recommendation of your veterinarian? Don’t. Do you have any poisonous plants in your house? Get rid of them. Is there any spilled antifreeze on your garage floor? Clean it up.

And PLEASE make sure you know the phone number and location of the nearest Veterinary Emergency Clinic to your house … just in case. The life you save may be that of your beloved pet. /Gary

Posted on Monday, March 24th, 2008
Under: Cats, dogs, Pesticide, Poison, Poisonous plants, Toxic | No Comments »

Did you know Easter lilies can be fatal to cats?

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers springtime safety tips for pet parents.

As spring showers give way to fragrant flowers, it’s time to remind you that one of the season’s most popular plants, the Easter lily, can result in tragic consequences for our feline friends.

“All lilies belonging to the plant genus Lilium are considered highly toxic to cats,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, board-certified veterinary toxicologist and director of the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center. “The consumption of small amounts can produce a life-threatening situation.” According to Dr. Hansen, certain species of the daylily genus Hemerocallis are known to produce similar toxic effects.

Some examples of common lily varieties that are dangerous to cats include:

** Easter Lily

** Tiger Lily

** Rubrum Lily

** Japanese Show Lily

** Daylily (certain species)

Within only a few hours of ingestion, these plants may cause a cat to vomit, become lethargic or develop a lack of appetite. Without prompt and proper treatment by a veterinarian, a cat may develop kidney failure in 36 to 72 hours. “Time is of the essence for treatment,” according to Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. “If an owner suspects that his or her cat may have ingested any part of a lily, he or she should seek medical care immediately.”

The ASPCA also suggests leaving lilies out of Easter baskets or Mother’s Day bouquets destined for homes with cats, or using safer flower varieties as a substitute. Safe alternatives include Easter orchids, cacti, and daisies, as well as roses and violets.

If your dog or cat accidentally ingests any potentially harmful flowers or plants, please call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 (please note there’s a consultation fee for this service), or visit

For more information on having a safe springtime season, visit

March 16-22 is National Poison Prevention Week. Check this out:

Posted on Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
Under: Cats, Poisonous plants | No Comments »

Forbidden Flora: Plants that are toxic to your pets

Is it true what they say about yew? Are lovely lilies not so lovely for felines?
As a responsible pet parent, it’s up to you to know what plants and trees are potentially poisonous to your favorite dog or cat.

Experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center have compiled a list of frequently encountered toxic plants. Be sure to bookmark this section and visit it often. It could save your pet’s life:

You can even print out the list of toxic plants and post them on your refrigerator. /Gary

Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2008
Under: Pets, Poisonous plants | No Comments »