Common Small Animal Poisons

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Common Small Animal Poisons

by Melissa Steele

Having a pet can be one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling parts of life. An animal companion keeps up company, makes us laugh, and offers unconditional love. In return, it?s up to us to make sure they are healthy, happy, and have everything they need. And it falls to us to care for them should anything go wrong.

Just like children, animals are curious creatures. They want to explore areas that are off-limits and investigate things that, unbeknownst to them, may be harmful. Considering this inquisitive nature, it is not uncommon that animals sometimes mix with poisonous products.

Take Action

A responsible pet owner is aware of this risk and knows what to do should their pet get into trouble.

First, do not panic. Stay calm and move quickly.

Next, assess the situation as quickly as you can. If there are any open bottles or other materials, gather them up and put them in a sealed plastic bag. You will want to bring this to the vet?s office so it can be examined and any poisons can be tested. If you can, call ahead and alert your vet that you are on your way. They may want to call the Animal Poison Control Center before you arrive.

If you cannot make it to a vet, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435. Be prepared with the following information before you pick up the phone: the species or breed, age, sex, weight, and symptoms. Tell the specialist what type of poison you think was involved and if a container is available, read off the contents. Be sure to say how much time has passed since the animal came in contact with the poison. There is a $55 charge for this phone service. Be Prepared

Unfortunately, you cannot be with your pet 24/7 and accidents do happen. So take precaution now before it is too late.

Buy a first-aid kit for your animal and keep it in an easily accessible area. This should include: hydrogen peroxide, syringe, saline eye drops, mild soap, tweezers, an emergency can of food, portable water bowl, and a blanket.

Post the numbers for your vet and the Animal Poison Control Center near the phone. Alert all household members to this list. Always know where your pet carrier is located in case you need to move the animal quickly.

Keep Away!

It is important to know what to avoid feeding your pet because even harmless looking snacks can be deadly. For example, animals should not consume avocado, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, nuts, salt, garlic, or yeast dough.

But dangers are lurking outside the house as well. Be aware that some animals have a negative reaction to other critters like toads, spiders, and snakes; citronella candles; fertilizers; certain outdoor plants; pond algae; ice-melting products; and swimming pool supplies.

What works for your aches and pains will not work for your pet. If your animal has injured itself and you want to ease the pain, resist the urge to slip your pet a couple of aspirin or any kind of pain killer. Instead, take the time to contact your vet and ask what you can do that is appropriate for the animal. This holds true for your vitamin pills, diet pills, antidepressants, etc.

Stay Alert

Since animals cannot communicate with language, we need be attuned to their behavior and react immediately if they seem uncomfortable in any way. Even if you don?t witness your pet interacting with a hazardous material, if you suspect something is wrong, get to a vet right away

Melissa Steele is a freelance writer for This site features Pet Essentials with Style including stylish dog beds of all sizes and styles.

Melissa Steele - EzineArticles Expert Author

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