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Keeping Your Pets Safe

June 1, 2014

Pets are curious animals, observes Dr. Shaw, a local veterinarian in Bend, OR. They love to explore their surroundings and find things that taste good or smell good. It’s our responsibility as good Central Oregon pet people to make sure their environment is free from potential danger.

Many household items are potentially poisonous. Common among them are human medications. The pill that you think you might have dropped and can’t find…you need to find it or they will.  Aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, Cymbalta, Effexor, Adderall, Concerta, and on and on and on can cause serious problems. OTC cough, cold and allergy medications are sweet–flavored, increasing the chance your dog or cat may consume them. They often contain acetaminophen which is very toxic to cats.

Most general purpose cleansers and laundry supplies are fairly safe but concentrated products like toilet bowl or drain cleaners can cause chemical burns.

Household insecticides are fairly safe but it’s best to keep curious animals away until the products have dried. Glow sticks and glow jewelry can cause pain and drooling. Rodent poisons are very dangerous. Manufacturers make them taste good so rodents will eat them and this makes them especially enticing to pets.

Many plants such as lilies, philodendron, rhubarb leaves, aloe, oleander, castor bean to name a few, have toxic effects. Common foods, especially chocolate, can be a big problem. Other foods such as onions raisins, macadamia nuts, coffee and tea (because of caffeine), hops used in home beer brewing, garlic, grapes are also potentially dangerous. The artificial sweetener, Xylitol, found in gum and ice cream can be deadly. Dog-only flea and tick control products accidently used on cats can be deadly as well.Diagnosis of potential poisonings can be difficult. Dr Shaw takes an extensive history to find out if there is any exposure to poisonous products in the pet’s environment. In-house diagnostics may indicate organ failure related to poisons. Proper diagnosis is required to formulate the proper treatment plan.Protect your pets by keeping common household products safely behind well-secured doors.

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