Preventing Pet Poisoning with the VVMA

Preventing Pet Poisoning with the VVMA

Posted on Mar 06, 2015 by hannah

Poison prevention week for pets is March [15th through the 21st]. This annual observance started in 1961 to highlight the dangers of accidental poisonings in children, and is a great time to discuss potential dangers to our pets, as well. 

In reviewing over 180,000 calls about pets exposed to potentially poisonous substances in 2012, the ASPCA's Poison Control center reports that for the fifth straight year, prescription human medications were the top problem. 25,000 calls were taken in2012: that's almost 70 calls per day! The top three medications were heart/blood pressure pills, antidepressants, and pain medications. The next most common poisonous substance was insecticides, with 19,000 calls and over half of those were cats. Our feline friends are very susceptible to ingredients in many over the counter and veterinary products. Always read the label fully and check with your veterinarian before applying any topicals on a cat!

Over the counter human drugs are were third, including drugs such as aspirin and Tylenol and even herbal and neutraceutical products. Coming in fourth are veterinary products such as flavored chew tabs for pets. In many cases, the entire bottle was consumed! Rounding out the top five are household items, including cleaning products.

Dogs are much more likely to get into trouble around the house than cats (9 of the top 10 spots go to dogs), with Labrador Retrievers topping the list. They are followed by mixed breed dogs, Chihuahuas, Golden Retrievers, and Yorkies. Prevention consists of pet proofing your home in the same way you would child proof it: keep all potentially toxicsubstances up high or locked up.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of the above items, chocolate, foods with xylitol sweetener (gum), a rodenticide, or any lawn and garden product, call your veterinarian immediately. If you are not sure if the product is toxic, call. It's better to be safe than sorry. The ASPCA's Poison Center also has a 24 hour hotline at 888-426-4435.  Since 1978, they have handled over two million cases.



­­­­­­­­­­Spring Pet Poisons

VVMA Press Release

 Many people are beginning to realize the dangers of landscaping items such as cocoa mulch and stainless steel edging but there are many more potential dangers for pets when you start your springtime lawn and garden care.

While flowers are colorful and fragrant, there are several that are toxic to pets. Daffodils can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and potential respiratory distress in dogs and cats. Lilies are deadly to cats and Autumn Crocuses can cause severe illness and death a few days after ingestion.

Most pesticides and insecticides usually cause only mild irritation to your pet when ingested. The concentrated forms are the ones that can really make your pet ill. Fertilizers such as bone or blood meal may help your flowers grow, but to most dogs, they are very tasty and can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and gastric obstruction. Rose fertilizers may contain disulfoton and as little as 1 teaspoon of this can kill a 55 pound dog. Fertilizers applied to your lawn are reasonably safe when applied correctly. In general keep the pets off the lawn until the liquid is dry or the granules have been wetted.

Whenever you're working in your lawn and garden, be sure to keep any containers of lawn care products out of pets' reach. Save labels or containers in case your pet does eat something: this will help your veterinarian find the right treatment for your pet. If you are concerned with the potential toxicity of something your pet ingests, call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 ( To learn which plants are toxic to your pets, go to



The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional

organization of veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality

medicine. For more information, visit or call (802) 878-6888.



Veterinary Emergency Kit:

Phone Numbers of Family Veterinarian and local Emergency Vet

Copy of latest vaccines and medical history

Latex or Nitrile Gloves

Roll Gauze

Gauze Pads

Nonstick Bandage Material

Non-Adherent Sterile gauze (telfa pads)

Bandage Tape

Activated Charcoal

Hydrogen Peroxide 3%


Sterile Eye Wash

Digital Thermometer (rectal temperatures)

Vaseline (to lubricate thermometer)

Large Syringe or Bulb Syringe



Sturdy Blanket

Triple-Antibiotic Ointment

Penlight or Small Flashlight

Bandage Scissors

Needle-nosed Pliers

Plastic Card to scrape away stingers