It Is 888-426-4435 and it is the number to the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center. They are available 24/7/365. The center, through specially trained veterinary toxicologists; provides diagnostic and treatment recommendations in the event of your pet's exposure to hazardous substances. These veterinary toxicologists have at their disposal an extensive collection of scientific journals, books, databases and case histories not available to everyone else. The center is funded by grants, gifts, corporate sponsorships and your user fee. It is currently $60 and in the case of a poisoning, it will be the best $60 you can spend on your pet. Last year, they fielded over 116,000 calls
Death by poisoning is one of the more preventable accidents of dogs and cats, dogs being far more likely than cats to be poisoned. It is usually caused by careless handling and storage of toxic substances or by allowing access to areas where toxic substances can be ingested, inhaled, absorbed or injected.
The Animal Poison Control Center has issued a list of top 10 household product categories that have been called in:
1.Human Medications. People medications and pet medications are not formulated the same even though they may have the same manufacturer and prescription name. People medications are generally dosed for symptoms and pet medications for weight. Two frequently used pain medications for people are acetaminophen; which is deadly to cats,and ibuprofen; which causes kidney damage in dogs.
2.Insecticides. There were 27,000 calls alone for topical flea and tick products.
3.Veterinary Medications. This includes vaccines. In addition, there have been cases of dogs chewing the lids off of anti-inflammatory medications and consuming the entire contents. My own dog did this and in 2000 it cost me $1800 at my vet.
4.Plants. On the ASPCA's website, www.aspca.org ;there is a list of common toxic household plants. While you are there, you can request a free refrigerator magnet. You will always have this important number handy.
5.Household Cleaners. Improperly stored bleach,detergents and disinfectants.
6. Rodenticides. These are usually baited with something tasty like peanut butter.
8. Chemical Hazards.This includes anti-freeze, which cleans up easily with soap and water.
9. Physical Hazards. The ingestion of objects causing choking or intestional obstruction. You should provide appropriate treats and toys for your pets. You should always monitor play and treat time.
10. Home Improvement Products. This includes paints and glues.
Signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, breathing difficulties, excitability, loss of consciousness and seizures. In the event of a poisoning, it is paramount that you remain calm. The more excited you are, the more excitable your pet is, the higher the heart rate, the faster the poison is going through their system. The center or your vet is going to want to know what the suspected substance is.There are different protocols for different substances. What helps in one situation, may cause harm in another. They also want to know how much was ingested and for how long. They may ask if a vomit or stool sample is available. This may tell them what the suspected substance is if you are unsure of what it is. YOU ONLY INDUCE VOMITING IF INSTRUCTED BY THE CENTER OR YOUR VETERINARIAN.
Always make that life saving phone call first, before you take your pet to the hospital. In the time it takes to get to the hospital, it may be too late.