Top 5 pet toxins of 2012


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Dog_PetMedsSince your four-legged friends are curious creatures, and curious creatures tend to stick their noses — and paws — where they don’t belong, it’s not uncommon for your pets to ingest dangerous substances.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s Animal Poison Control Center knows all about it. In 2012, it handled more than 180,000 cases in which people’s pets were exposed to poisonous substances. No matter the owner or animal, the APCC received calls concerning the same products over and over again.

Here were the top five poisons pet parents called about in 2012:

1. Prescription human medications

The APCC received 25,000 cases in 2012. The top three types were heart medications (blood pressure pills), antidepressants and pain medications (opioids and prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

2. Insecticides

Only 11% of all calls to the APCC were about insecticides, but more than 50% APCC involving cats concerned exposure to insecticides.

3. Over-the-counter human medications

This group contains acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen, as well as herbal and nutraceutical products (e.g., fish oil and joint supplements).

4. Veterinary products and medications

Veterinary products made up about 6% of 2012 calls. Both OTC and prescription veterinary products are included, and be extra careful about flavored tablets.

5. Household products

The APCC received more than 10,000 calls about this category in 2012, including fire logs and cleaning products.

If you think your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.