For the first time ever, over-the-counter medications and supplements have ousted prescription drugs at the top of the 10 leading toxins commonly taken by pets, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Aspca).
According to reports received by the Aspca’s Animal Poison Control Center, OTCs such as aspirin, Advil and Tylenol are the top sources of poisoning among our furry friends, which exhibit such curiosity and will likely ingest almost anything. Along with children, pets remain the most susceptible to toxins in the household.
Over 28,500 cases of pet toxicity from OTCs as well as herbal supplements were reported in 2015.
“This category is exceptionally large, encompassing nearly 7,000 products,” explains the Aspca in its announcement.
Prescription drugs for humans dropped to the second spot on the list, representing almost 16 percent of cases. The type of medication that animals were most commonly exposed to corresponded with the most popularly-prescribed among human patients.
Following medications are insecticides, with almost nine percent or 15,000 cases, and human foods with about 14,600 cases. Pets often got into trouble by consuming garlic, onions, raisins, grapes, alcohol and substances such as xylitol.
Household items are next on the list, mostly comprising paint, fire logs and cleaning agents. Overdose from veterinary drugs – especially chewables that easily attract pets – followed with over seven percent of cases.
Chocolate, indoor and outdoor plants, rodent poisons and lawn and garden products also threatened to poison pets in 2015, revealed the top pet toxin report.
March is National Animal Poison Prevention Month. Pet poisoning remains a serious challenge among pet owners, making it crucial to pet-proof one’s home and employ the right preventive measures.
Follow these poison prevention tips from APCC:
- Store all cleaning solutions out of pet’s reach. Keep animals out of the way when cleaning and rinsing. Place rat baits in areas that pets cannot access.
- Never give human food to your pet if you have not consulted the veterinarian. Grapes, for instance, can lead to kidney failure in dogs.
- Only give pets medication that the veterinarian prescribed and recommended.
- Keep all prescribed and OTC medications out of pet’s reach, preferably in closed cabinets.
- Identify plants in the house and yard that can cause symptom in pets. Before landscaping, check if a plant is toxic.
Call the veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your pet has been poisoned. Act fast and reveal all the important information about a specific toxicity, as poisoning usually progresses very rapidly.
Photo: Jorge Rosal | Flickr