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Animal Emergency Guide: Poisoning

Animal poisoning guide

Animal Emergency Guide: If you are currently experiencing an emergency and feel that your pet may have been affected by poisoning, please call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center phone number at (888) 426-4435. Also, please give us or your vet and the nearest emergency animal hospital a call. BrightCare Animal ER can be contacted at (949) 716-9270. 

If this is not an emergency and you are looking to find information on how to be prepared for a poisoning situation, then you have come to the right place. The number listed above for poison control is the best resource for any animal poison-related emergency situation. The number is operated 24 hours a day, every day of the year. A consultation fee may apply. 

Poisoning in pets can happen for several reasons, and they can ingest a plant, food, household products, medication, or receive a contact poisoning. Every situation that may occur needs to be handled with care and immediate action. We will provide you a guide of what to do and what objects or items your pets needs to stay away from. 

Plants to avoid

There is a list of plants that should not be made available to any pet. These listed plants have been reported as having systemic effects on animals and/or intense effects on their gastrointestinal tract. Every pet will react differently to plants, so the following list is a compilation of commonly encountered plants. Ingestion of plants can cause vomiting. 

Plants toxic to pets:

  • Castor oil or castor bean plant, cyclamen, yew, sago palm, amaryllis, Autumn crocus, ivy, marijuana, oleander, Spanish thyme, tulips, azaleas, dieffenbachia, lilies, lily of the valley, peace lily, kalanchoe, chrysanthemum, daffodils, hyacinth, larkspur, bloodroot, bleeding heart, dumbcane, mistletoe, thorn apple, jimsonweed, hemlock, stinging nettles, Virginia creeper, Schefflera, rhubarb, pothos, foxglove, Jerusalem cherry, privet, wisteria, chinaberry tree, flower bulbs of any kind, and mushrooms you cannot identify as safe. 

Many plants can be toxic to your pets. Some are also irritants, which means that they can cause inflammation of the mouth, skin, stomach, and other areas of contact. Different plants have a systemic effect, which means they can damage or alter the functionality of your pet’s organs. The listed plants should not be planted around your home or kept inside the house where your pet can reach it. 

Food to avoid 

A large amount of human food can be extremely toxic to pets. Alcohol is a big no-no for all animals. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, decreased coordination, tremors, coma, abnormal blood acidity, and even death. Pets should not ingest any form of alcohol. Avocados should be avoided for birds, rabbits, donkeys, and horses. It can cause cardiovascular damage or death in birds. For horses and donkeys, it can cause swollen, edematous head and neck. Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine, when ingested by pets, can cause vomiting, panting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and death. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, and it is a good idea not to give them to dogs. Nuts like macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, and vomiting. Symptoms can last anywhere from 12 to 48 hours. Yeast dough can be painful for your pet as it causes the stomach to bloat and potentially twist. It can cause a life-threatening emergency. 

Household products to avoid

Just like certain foods can be harmful to pets, so can household products. Household products can be much more dangerous to your pets, so if they happen to consume any of the following products, please have them be seen immediately. Household products that are harmful to pets include bleach, antifreeze, rat poison, carpet fresheners, carpet shampoo, essential oils, fabric softener sheets, Febreze, grout, Swiffer wet jet, toilet cleaning tablets, and vinegar and water. All these can be extremely harmful in both small and large amounts. If you discover your pet has gotten into any of the listed products, please make sure that other pets in the household do not have access to it when you take your pet in to be seen by a vet.

Medications to avoid

Human medications are made in large doses that pets are not able to handle. With that being said, any time a pet consumes human medication this is considered a poisoning, it should be a huge red flag that they should be seen immediately, even if it is just baby aspirin. Pets should only ingest medications that are suited to them. Please be cautious if your pet consumes Adderall, petroleum jelly, aspirin, baby aspirin, fash wash, soap, breath fresheners, cigarettes and nicotine patches, grapeseed oil, ibuprofen and naproxen, mosquito repellent, Pepto Bismol, ointments, creams, and Benadryl. All medications should be placed high and out of reach for both children and pets. Large consumption can lead to death, so it is vital to have your pet seen immediately. 

What to do if your pet is poisoned, Animal Emergency Guide

  1. Remove your pet from the area as well as make sure that no other pets or children are exposed to the area. Remove the poisonous material from reach. 
  2. Check your pet: make sure they are breathing and are, for the most part acting “normal”. 
  3. Pack up a sample of the poisonous material to take to your vet.
  4. Call ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Call your vet or nearest emergency animal hospital. 
  5. Do not give your pet any home remedies or antidotes. You may cause further damage or other symptoms if you do so. 
  6. Do not induce vomiting in any way. Unless told to do so by Pet Poison hotline or your vet. 
  7. If a pet needs to be seen, carefully and securely place pets in the vehicle and drive safely to your vet or animal hospital. 

We hope that you found this Animal Emergency Guide useful. If you feel that poisoning in your pet has occurred, please call the necessary numbers listed at the top of this blog. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call BrightCare Animal Emergency! If you would like to make an appointment, you can do so on our website.

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