There are some things that every pet owner must know; including what to do if their animal has ingested something poisonous, as well as what their pet looks like when healthy. (By knowing what your pet is like when they are healthy gives you a good benchmark for identifying when they are feeling lethargic, off their food or acting unusual.)
Last week in Greater Napanee, Ontario a cat was found dead in the James Street neighborhood with blue liquid coming out of its mouth. This past week, another cat was seen with blue liquid leaking from its mouth.
Residents and pet owners were urged to check the exterior of their houses, garages, sheds and other places where chemicals or potentially harmful substances might have been accidentally left out and/or were accessible to wandering animals.
The first thing you need to do if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, but not showing signs of illness, is to stay calm. An upset or frantic owner can agitate their pet and exacerbate the situation. The Ontario SPCA urges owners to contact their local veterinarian or veterinary clinic, or the American SPCA’s poison control hotline at 1(888)426-4435 (fees may apply), to determine if the substance your pet ingested is harmful. Not all exposure situations mean your pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian.
If your pet is exhibiting any unusual signs such as having difficulty breathing, seizures, or losing consciousness then your pet requires immediate treatment. If your regular veterinary clinic is closed, there are many pet hospitals that are open after-hours. It is always useful to have the phone number and address of the veterinary hospital or after-hours clinic that is closest to your house, in the event you are faced with a pet emergency down the road.
It is also helpful to attending veterinarians if you are able to provide symptoms you observed, as well as the chemical ingested, the amount of the product, and the time elapsed since exposure (if known).
As always, practicing prevention is paramount to your pet’s well-being. Be sure to keep chemicals and cleaning products safely stored in locations where your curious critter won’t stumble upon them in their travels around your house. Also be aware of any containers or packaging that may be leaking or dirty with the chemical it contains.
Common household items to keep stored away from your pets include:
• Any prescription or OTC drugs such as painkiller and cold and/medications
• Insecticides and insect control products
• Certain household plants
• Chemical baits for mice and other small rodents
• Cleaning products such as disinfectants, bleaches and detergents
If you want to learn more about how to keep your pet safe from poisoning, check out the ASPCA’s page on Animal Poison Control.
If you want to learn more about the poisoned animals in Napanee, click here.