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Be Prepared !!!

Jill A. Richardson, DVM
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

Your animal may become poisoned in spite of your best efforts to prevent it. Because of this, you should be prepared.

Your animal companions regularly should be seen by a local veterinarian to maintain overall health. You should know the veterinarian's procedures for emergency situations, especially ones that occur after usual business hours. You should keep the telephone numbers for the veterinarian, ASPCA/APCC, and a local emergency veterinary service in a convenient location.

You may benefit by keeping a pet safety kit on hand for emergencies. Such a kit should contain:

  • A fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide 3% (USP)
  • Can of soft dog or cat food, as appropriate
  • Turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe
  • Saline eye solution to flush out eye contaminants
  • Artificial tear gel to lubricate eyes after flushing
  • Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid (for bathing)
  • Rubber gloves (for use during bathing)
  • Forceps to remove stingers
  • Muzzle to keep the animal from hurting you while it is excited or in pain
  • Pet carrier to help carry the animal to your local veterinarian

You should not attempt any therapy on your pet without contacting either the Center or your local veterinarian.

If you suspect that your pet has been exposed to a poison, it is important not to panic. While rapid response is important, panicking generally interferes with the process of helping your animal.

If your animal is seizuring, losing consciousness, unconscious or having difficulty breathing, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Most veterinarians are familiar with the consulting services of the Center. Depending on your particular situation, your local veterinarian may want to contact the Center personally while you bring your pet to the animal hospital.

Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

When you call the Center, be ready to provide:

1. Your name, address and telephone number
2. Information concerning the exposure (the amount of agent, the time since exposure, etc.). For various reasons, it is important to know exactly what poison the animal was exposed to. [If the agent is part of the Animal Product Safety Service, the consultation is at no cost to the caller.]
3. The species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved
4. The agent your animal(s) has been exposed to, if known
5. The problems your animal(s) is experiencing.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, an operating division of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), is the only animal-oriented poison control center in North America. It is a unique, emergency hotline providing 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week telephone assistance. The Center's hotline veterinarians can quickly answer questions about toxic chemicals, dangerous plants, products or substances found in our everyday surroundings that can prove poisonous or fatal to animals.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
1-888-4-ANI-HELP
http://www.apcc.aspca.org


Address (URL): http://www.vspn.org/Library/Misc/VSPN_M01258.htm

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