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Avoid Pet Hazards, Save on Pet Care
Sometimes it is a simple as reducing or eliminating hazards first, just like child proofing a house.
Making an effort to keep your pets out of harms way can save thousands in veterinary expense.
For after hour emergency questions or consultation one can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at:
1-888-426-4435 (1-888-4-ANI-HELP) available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Animal Poison Control charges a $65 consultation fee. (Fee at the time of this posting - 8.2016).
When accidental swallowing is suspected, take the Better Safe than Sorry approach.
It is best to bring your pet in to your veterinarian.
Sooner is not only better, but it will likely be the less expensive alternative.
There are different active ingredients in mouse/rat poisons which act differently on your pet and require different treatments. It is very important to bring in any packaging of the poison that your pet may have ingested.
The inactive ingredients are designed to attract rodents to them, unfortunately, they also attract pets.
It is extremely important to bring your pet in as soon as possible after ingestion of a rodenticide. Your pet may not start showing symptoms for days, but waiting to treat until symptoms are apparent may mean that treatment is not as successful.
Seeing something drop on the floor is often a trigger for a pet to dive for it. Vials can also be snatched off counters, out of purses or off tables if in reach of the pets. Keep any medications (whether your own or your pet's) in a pet safe location.
Different medications can pose different problems and can vary depending on the size of the pet and the quantity ingested.
Keep in mind that ANY human anti-inflammatory (ex. Tylenol, Advil, Ibuprophen, Asprin, etc.) is BAD for your pet. PERIOD.
Resist the urge to go to the human medicine cabinet for your pet unless you consult your Vet.
Flea and tick products are an important asset for our pets, but misuse can result in toxicities. It is safest to only use medications prescribed and recommended by your veterinarian. Your pet should have an examination before starting any flea/tick control programs.
Take precautions to prevent your pet's exposure to: antifreeze (ethylene glycol), paint thinners, drain cleaners, bleaches, detergents or aerosolized products. Once exposed, seek treatment for your pet.
Objects your pet may chew on could contain potential hazards, such as lead paint. It's always best to let your veterinarian know what your pet may have eaten.
Fertilizers and other lawn treatments can end up on your pet's paws and then ingested when they lick their paws. Pets can also chew or eat treated plant material.
Piece of chew toy (top left) extracted after blocking pet's colon
Chewing up or playing with and swallowing objects can potentially lead to gastrointestinal problems, including obstructions. The following are just some of the objects that I have had to repeatedly surgically remove from pets intestinal tracts:
- Dental floss
- Carpet strands
- Parts of plastic toys
- Poker chips
- Tennis balls
- Elastic Hair binders
- Pieces of unknown plastic
- Sewing needles
Long fibers such as string, floss and carpet strands can result in the upper end becoming trapped while the far end continues to travel down bunch up the digestive tract along the way. When pulled taught, these little fibers also can act like a knife, cutting into intestinal walls.
These pose a hazard for electric shock and your pet's interest in cords must be carefully discouraged and monitored.
Sprays that taste bad to your pet can be useful to help them from picking up or chewing on objects that we don't want them to. Rabbits seem to have a particular fondness for chewing on cords.
Biwabik in canoe with life vest in early spring and cold water temps
On or Around Lakes or Rivers
Life vests are available for pets and not only are great for safety, but also help keep your pet warm.
Watch thin ice areas, pets can fall through too. Pets, like people are warm blooded and can also suffer from the effects of hypothermia.
It is hard to always stay one step ahead of our inquisitive little friends. It is not always easy to anticipate the hazard before it occurs.
Other common outdoor hazards include fish hooks, falls from high places, cuts from barbed wire fences, and corneal injuries from dog's hanging their heads out car windows (flying debris).
Unusual hazards that Dr. Gerds has successfully treated have included:
- a parakeet that landed in a tub of Crisco
- a Persian cat with two mouse glue traps embedded in its fur
- a snake caught in an owner's ring (the snake thought he could fit through)
- a parakeet with a toy attachment piercing his lower jaw
- a duck caught in a plastic snow fence (came in with fence portion attached).
Speaking of pet birds, NEVER allow your bird to be flying indoors when a ceiling fan is turned on, or the windows open.