March is National Pet Poison Prevention Month…
In 2013, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, Illinois, handled nearly 180,000 cases about pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances. Topping the list for the sixth year in a row are prescription human medications. Nearly 20% of all calls were from owners whose pets got into medicines intended for human use.
Here are the top 10 toxins of 2013 ranked in order of call volume:
1. Prescription Human Medications
The APCC handled 24,673 cases regarding human prescription medications in 2013. The top three types of medications that animals were exposed to include: heart medications (blood pressure pills), antidepressants and pain medications (opioids and prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Many of these exposures were due to people dropping their medication when preparing to take it, and before they knew it, Fido had gobbled the pill off the floor.
Insecticides are used in the yard, home and on our animals. While 15.7% of all calls to the APCC are about insecticides, more than half of the calls involving cats pertain to felines exposed to insecticides. Always read the label before using any insecticide on your pet, in your home or in your yard.
3. Over-the-Counter Human Medications
Over-the-counter human products accounted for 14.7% of calls to APCC in 2013. This group contains acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen as well as herbal and nutraceutical products (fish oil, joint supplements). Many of these products are tasty to pets, and some can be life threatening if ingested.
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