and raisins are still killing dogs, and lilies are still
killing cats. Chocolate, xylitol, prescription drugs and
other items can be life-threatening, and life-saving
treatment can rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars
in veterinarian bills.
of this is new information, but many people still donít
know that our houses and yards are full of things that
can sicken or kill pets.
34 percent of pet owners know that cocoa mulch is toxic,
according to a survey conducted by Petplan insurance.
Only 16 percent know that tulip bulbs are dangerous, and
thatís a new one for me. A total of 67 percent knew
the dangers of grapes, xylitol in sugar-free candy and
gum, diced onions and coffee grounds. This marks the
first time Iíve heard that coffee grounds are bad, so
keep an eye on kitchen trash cans.
intended for humans topped the 2013 list of reasons
people called the Animal Poison Control Center of The
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals. The telephone hotline handled 180,000 calls,
and nearly 20 percent were for prescriptions, including
4,151 calls about pills intended to control blood
pressure or heart rate and 2,836 cases involving pain
the rest of the ASPCA Top 10:
Insecticides, 15.7 percent of calls.
Over-the-counter drugs including acetaminophen and
ibuprofen, 14.7 percent.
Household items including expandable glues and paints,
Food for humans, including onions, garlic, grapes,
raisins and xylitol.
Meds prescribed by veterinarians. Some are available in
chewable form with nice flavors, and pets have been
known to break through pill bottles to eat the whole
Chocolate, the darker the chocolate, the higher the
toxicity, 7.7 percent.
Rodenticides, 5.5 percent.
Plants, mostly houseplants eaten by cats, 5.4 percent.
Lawn and garden products, 2.8 percent.
of the news releases Iíve received have figures for
how many animals die of poisoning.
for the sticker shock: Petplanís news release said the
company has paid out as much as $10,000 for a poison
claim. Hereís the insurance companyís list of
average reimbursement for veterinary bills: $929 for
anti-freeze, $750 for illegal drugs including marijuana,
$700 for prescription drugs, $545 for unknown causes,
$501 for poisonous plants and $465 for food or
are the symptoms that indicate you need to get to a
veterinarian quickly: vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, loss
of appetite, tremors, seizures, excessive thirst and
and pet meds can cause stomach ulcers and kidney
failure, especially in cats, according to veterinarian
Jules Benson at Petplan. Internal bleeding, pancreatitis
and kidney failure can all be caused by things that are
toxic to pets.
number for the ASPCAís 24-hour poison hotline is
1-888-426-4435. Have your credit card handy because the
call will cost you $65.
no charge for calls to national Poison Control Center
hotline at 1-800-222-1222. They handle calls for people
and for pets, but if they feel they canít help they
refer callers to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
Go to www.aspca.org/apcc for further information.