Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

March 17, 2013

Pets susceptible to dangers of poisons


Mineral Wells Index

— By CHRIS AGEE

While much of the focus of Poison Prevention Week is on adolescents, animals also face elevated risks associated with household poisons.

According to Dr. Jacqueline Talley of Pet Western Animal Hospital, the biggest threat to pets might sound familiar.

"The most common pet poisons or toxins is administration of human medicine," she said. "The other would be rodenticide."

Anticoagulant medications are especially dangerous to animals, she said, as are a number of other household products.

"There are a lot of common household plants, insect sprays, antifreeze," she said, explaining several other items have been found to be dangerous to pets in recent years.

"Some of the newest ones are onions, grapes and raisins," she said. "A big one which has been relatively new is xylitol," which is an artificial sweetener often found in sugarless chewing gum.

"The new generation of poison is not safe for animals either," Talley warned.

Should a pet owner believe an animal has ingested a potential poison, she encouraged him or her to have the ingredient available and call a pet poison control hotline.

The Pet Poison Helpline released a list of guidelines for keeping pets safe, explaining more than 90 percent of all calls received last year concerned dogs. Nearly half of the calls involved a dog ingesting human medication.

The hotline is available 24 hours a day at 1 (800) 213-6680.