Toxicology and Poison Control
As humans, we usually realize when a substance is likely to be toxic and cause us harm. Unfortunately, in most cases our animals do not have the capacity to make this decision for themselves and often, their natural curiosity gets the better of them. Poisoning and exposure to toxic substances is one of the leading causes of pet visits to the veterinarian each year.
Most vets are committed to educating owners on the risks of exposing their animals to specific toxins, but there are still many that get missed. While we try to keep a close eye on our animals and remain conscientious and vigilant at all times, the truth is that in many instances, we ourselves simply don’t know that a substance is dangerous for them until it is too late. Nearly all cases of pet poisoning are accidental and caused by a lack of knowledge rather than malicious intent. However, regrettably there are still a small number of animals that are purposefully poisoned each year.
Common substances that are toxic to animals
While it is impossible to provide a comprehensive list of common toxins, the ten most frequently reported poison dangers for animals include:
- Specific foods, such as chocolate, grapes/raisins, onion, garlic, fruit pits and products containing xylitol.
- Insecticides and rodenticides.
- Human medications including over-the-counter drugs and prescription medicines.
- Household cleaners, sprays and detergents.
- Plants and flowers. There are many different types of plants and flower that can be poisonous to pets including azaleas, rhododendrons, tulips, daffodils and sago palms.
The trouble is that, unless your pet has consumed enough to become seriously unwell very quickly, it can be difficult to spot any symptoms of poisoning. This is due to the nature of animals to try and mask any vulnerabilities they have, including when they are unwell. This instinct is something very difficult for them to overcome.
Signs that your pet may have been poisoned
The severity of the symptoms that your pet experiences are usually determined by his size and how much of the toxic substance he has come into contact with. However, typical pet poisoning symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Cognitive changes such as lack of coordination or confusion
- Respiratory distress
If your pet shows any of these signs and you suspect that he may be suffering from contact with a toxic substance, it is crucial to phone our offices and speak to us immediately.
Our toxicology and poison control service
Much like the human version of the service, toxicology and poison control services refers to:
- the understanding of sources of different poisons
- the circumstances in which an animal might be exposed to a toxic substance
- diagnosis of the type of poisoning affecting your pet
- treating your pet for the variety of poisoning she has
- education of owners on how to spot and prevent their pet from coming into contact with toxic substances
Our dedicated veterinary toxicologists have the training and skill to be able to accurately diagnose and treat animals who have been experienced to an extremely broad range of different poisons and toxic substances. By promptly seeking the advice of a veterinary toxicologist, you will significantly increase the likelihood of a positive outcome for your precious pet.
If you are concerned that your pet may have swallowed or come into contact with a toxic substance, don’t delay in seeking professional advice. Please contact our toxicology and pet poison control team at our clinic in Fishers, IN today.