The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Call Center (APCC) tracks each and every call made to their 24-hour diagnostic and treatment hotline. The results have been tabulated: in 2015, for the first time ever, the hotline received more calls from owners and veterinarians regarding pet ingestion of over-the-counter medications than calls about ingestion of prescription medications.
Here are the Top Ten Toxins of 2015, as provided by the ASPCA:
1) OTC Items
With the increasing number of vitamins, herbal and joint supplements sold over the counter, there are lots more dangers for pet exposures.
2) Human Prescriptions
These medications were barely edged out of their traditional No. 1 spot on the APCC’s list of top yearly toxin calls. It’s very common for pets to ingest dropped pills or get into pill vials.
The APCC commonly sees exposure to products used in the house, in the yard and on pets. be sure to read label directions carefully before using these products.
4) People Food
Human food and drink are often readily accessible—and very appealing—to pets. Xylitol and alcohol are common, and potentially serious, exposures in this group.
5) Household Items
Commonly used items in homes such as paint, fire logs and cleaning supplies can be very hazardous.
6) Veterinary Products
Many pet medications are in the form of chewable tablets. While this may make it easier for pets to take medications, it also means pets are likely to ingest the entire prescription at once if they have access.
Calls about chocolate exposures were increased in 2015, with the APCC averaging one call about chocolate every 39 minutes. As we all know, unfortunately dogs love chocolate!
All pet owners should study up on the plants in their house and in outside landscaping, so they know whether they present any danger to pets.
These are often grain-based and very appealing to pets. The types of rodenticides animals are exposed to are changing but still dangerous. Bromethalin, a neurotoxin, is becoming much more common.
10) Garden Products
Pets often get into herbicides and fungicides that are left in the garage, shed or yard. Be sure to use special care when applying such products.