If you know your pet has eaten something he shouldn't have, call us for advice, or you can call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. The Animal Poison Control Center charges a $65 fee, but they might be able to tell you that your pet does not require an emergency visit, which makes $65 sound pretty appealing. Should your pet still require a trip to the ER, however, this gives you a bit more information to provide to the doctor.
For any visit to the veterinarian for a toxin, it is important to bring the packaging with you!
Toxins that will require trips to the ER:
- Antifreeze - bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible, as the treatment window is short - 3 hours in cats and slightly longer in dogs. Prognosis is very good for dogs treated with the antidote within 5 hours of ingestion. Dogs treated after this "golden window" may still have a good prognosis depending on the amount of kidney damage that has occured.
- Many human medications (for these we will refer you to the Poison Control Center to assess whether your pet requires an ER visit)
- Note - almost all medications with pseudoephedrine will overdose cats and most dogs with one tablet.
- Chocolate and caffeine - large amounts of milk chocolate, or ingestion of dark chocolate, cocoa, caffeine pills, cocoa mulch, coffee beans, and other related products are toxic to dogs and cats.
- Rat Poisons
- Lilies in cats - any part of a lily can be fatal to a cat, including the pollen.
- Xylitol (the sugar substitute)
- Overdoses of pet NSAIDs (like Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx, Previcox)
Other toxins that also require a veterinary visit include:
- Permethrins/pyrethrins topical flea medication applied to cats
- Grapes / raisins
- Moldy foods
- Acetominophen (Tylenol)
- Amphetamines, including ADD/ADHD medications
- Naproxen (Alieve)
- And many other common household and environmental toxins
Two great resources are available for more information on poisonings in pets:
Some helpful tips to keep your pets safe: