Top 10 Pet Poisons of 2009

From the ASPCA:

With various dangers lurking in corners and cabinets, the home can be a minefield of poisons for our pets. In 2009, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, IL, handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances, many of which included everyday household products. Don’t leave it up to Fido or Fluffy to keep themselves safe. Below is a list of the top 10 pet poisons that affected our furry friends in 2009.

Human Medications - Last year, the ASPCA managed 45,816 calls involving prescription and over-the-counter drugs such as painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements. Pets often snatch pill vials from counters and nightstands or gobble up medications accidentally dropped on the floor.

Insecticides - In 2009, our toxicologists fielded 29,020 calls related to insecticides. One of the most common incidents involved the misuse of flea and tick products—such as applying the wrong topical treatment to the wrong species.

People Food - People food like grapes, raisins, avocado and products containing xylitol, like gum, can seriously disable our furry friends, and accounted for more than 17,453 cases in 2009.

Plants - Common houseplants were the subject of 7,858 calls to APCC in 2009. Varieties such as azalea, rhododendron, sago palm, lilies, kalanchoe and schefflera are often found in homes and can be harmful to pets.

Veterinary Medications - Even though veterinary medications are intended for pets, they’re often misapplied or improperly dispensed by well-meaning pet parents.

Rodenticides - Last year, the ASPCA received 6,639 calls about pets who had accidentally ingested rat and mouse poisons. Many baits used to attract rodents contain inactive ingredients that are attractive to pets as well.

Household Cleaners - These products, when inhaled by our furry friends, can cause serious gastrointestinal distress and irritation to the respiratory tract.

Heavy Metals - Heavy metals such as lead, zinc and mercury accounted for 3,304 cases of pet poisonings in 2009.

Garden Products - Last year, the ASPCA fielded 2,329 calls related to fertilizer exposure, which can cause severe gastric upset and possibly gastrointestinal obstruction.

Chemical Hazards - A category on the rise, chemical hazards—found in ethylene glycol antifreeze, paint thinner, drain cleaners and pool/spa chemicals—form a substantial danger to pets.

Posted: 1/25/2010 2:34:00 PM

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