Monday, March 16, 2015

Separate Your Human Meds from your Pet Meds! Pet Poison Prevention Week March 15-21

Pet Poison Prevention Week is March 15-21st and throughout this week (and month), you will more than likely see a number of bloggers stressing the importance of knowing what items can be harmful to your pets.

Our friends at Cat Wisdom 101 did a marvelous post about cleaning products that can be hazardous to your cat, there is also a wonderful infographic  that recently appeared on Catster:


Infographic Courtesy of Catster

Today I want to share my own "real life" story about medicine that happened to me last year.

There are a few times during the year that Cody takes Prednisonol for his allergy flare-ups and I keep his meds in the kitchen cabinet. For a while, I used to keep my blood pressure medication in the same place.

Last year, at around 11pm I had gone to give Cody his pill, after I gave it to him I had a panic attack that was overwhelming, it suddenly hit me that I didn't know if I had accidentally given him one of MY blood pressure pills instead of HIS meds. The bottles were side-by-side, I had been distracted and was quite tired, and I couldn't remember which bottle I had grabbed.

I went into full blown panic mode. I called my vet screaming into the phone after 11pm that "I had poisoned Cody!!" Being the calm angel that he is, he immediately told me to call the ASPCA Pet Poison line 1-888-426-4435 (there is a $65 fee but it is worth EVERY PENNY!) They also have a Pet Poison phone app that you can download here.



When I called, the person on the other end was calm, she had me tell her exactly what I thought I had given to Cody, the name of the meds, dosage, etc., (if you ever have to call the Poison Hotline (and I pray you don't), here is the info you will need to have on hand:

  • The species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved.
  • The animal's symptoms.
  • Information regarding the exposure, including the agent (if known), the amount of the agent involved and the time elapsed since the time of exposure.

Have the product container/packaging available for reference.

Please note: If your animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing, telephone ahead and bring your pet immediately to your local veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic. If necessary, he or she may call the APCC.

 As it turned out, I had NOT given Cody the wrong pill by mistake and thankfully if I had, it would not have killed him. The woman I had spoken to on the Pet Poison Hotline  had said the most it would have done was make Cody  sleep more than usual, and she told me what other symptoms to watch out for.

I learned a valuable lesson. From that moment on, I moved MY meds into MY medicine cabinet where they belong, and Cody's meds are separate. I had forgotten I had the Pet Poison Hotline number on a magnet on the fridge, in my panic, my mind had gone blank.  I don't know what I would have done without that hotline number that awful night, it was an experience I pray I don't have to re-live again. Please keep the number  handy so you don't have to panic as I did!

49 comments:

  1. Hi Caren & Cody!
    I haven't visited in a while and I'm so glad I did. I need to visit more often. Thank you for sharing this story. I know that must have been so terrifying! So glad all was okay. Mommy says always better to be panicked and call to be sure. We have our own super scary human medicine bad for dogs story too, a warning for pet parents that I will reshare on FB since this week is so very important. I did a post about how deadly Xylitol is & how a pharmacist gave it to Mommy to give to me. I hope you'll read & share. I'll be sharing this...take care my friend & come by & visit sometime. Love you! Pixel
    http://www.pixelblueeyes.com/2015/01/pet-medications-xylitol-what-you-dont.html

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    1. Hi my furiend! So nice to see you! I will share for sure!!!! Glad all turned out ok though! Thanks for stopping by! xoxo

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  2. Excellent post! Thank you for sharing this valuable information and sharing the phone number. We are going to post it immediately.

    Happy Mancat Monday! XOXO

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    1. Thanks so much and you are most welcome! I am thinking I need to post the number in multiple places! xoxo

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  3. The cat meds and the human meds are in totally different rooms here! And never the twain shall meet!

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  4. Excellent post! Another important thing to note is making sure that any meds are kept well out of reach of pets and also being very careful not to drop a tablet on the floor and forget about it as some pets will eat anything.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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    1. Thank you Marie and you are soooo right! Thank you for sharing that! That is something else I have done but instantly realized it when I dropped a tablet a few times. That is soo easy to do and you are right, many of our pets (like mine), will eat anything! Thank you for mentioning that! xoxo

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  5. Great post!! Sam's meds are in a special place in the kitchen well away from any "people meds" but I'm sure a lot of people just lump all medicine bottles in one spot and it would be very easy to pick up the wrong one. So happy your "midnight incident" turned out well even if Cody would have been OK had you made an error. The other thing of course is keeping cleaning products and poisonous plants, etc. away. As pet parents it's OUR responsibility to make sure our kids can't get into anything they shouldn't.

    Hugs, Pam (and Sam says HI!)

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    1. Thank you Pam and Sammy! Ugh...I never used to "Lump" mine together, that was a fluke, I am thinking I had just picked mine up and hadn't moved them at that point. Rest assured mine are where they belong...NOW! Oh yes the cleaning products are hidden away and I keep NO "live" plants inside. Actually, I am going to be re-posting a most important post about plants this Thursday that I had done a while back, that was also a true story, but not pertaining to me. (((hugs))) and love back and kisses to Sammy!

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  6. Great information and always good to remind us. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. thank you Molly! Hoping you had a great day!

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  7. Would you believe, we just had an incident like this yesterday. Ruby's seizure meds and my husband's meds for his bad back were both on the counter. I didn't have my glasses on (bad me) and handed him Ruby's meds. He had the good sense to read the label and luckily all was fine. We will be much more careful after this!

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    1. Yes I DO believe this happened and I THANK YOU for sharing! Knowing that you are incredibly responsible (as I am!) our stories are proof that no glasses, or a little distraction can possibly cause a disaster! Thankfully he read the label! Whew!!!!

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  8. Great post, and great reminder *searching for Pet Poison Hotline in Switzerland* ! Our treatments are in a different cabinet from humans meds here. The worst that could happen is that Mum applies flea treatment to Dad MOL ! We're glad nothing bad happened to you, Cody, we cannot imagine how scary it was for your mom ! Purrs

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    1. thank you!!! LMAO about your Mom applying flea treatment to your Dad! OMG that is sooo funny!!!! I am so happy that nothing bad happened too and yes, I was terrified!! My poor vet! I was shrieking into the phone at the poor man! This happened I think last summer or fall, I kept meaning to write about it and never got around to it, probably because I was embarrassed!

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  9. Great reminders. We keep the dog meds in a drawer away from the human ones. (we would keep cat ones there too if we had any!)

    Be safe!

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  10. This is a great story, Caren, and really drives home the point to store human and pet medications in different places. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks so much! I just feel awful that I was so stupid!! You are most welcome!

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  11. Glad things turned out well in your story, Caren, but I read a lot of myself into it, because I would have panicked too! We keep the cat meds and stuff in a completely different area...in fact, several areas...but the message is the same. I am grateful that Chucky likes capsules inside of pill pockets now, instead of trying to push them in his mouth. I've just ordered some pill paste to use in the future; pill pockets are outrageously expense!

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    1. Me too! I certainly know better, it was just one of those "distracted" moments! Cody is super good about taking meds, so I rarely use pill pockets, but I agree, when I do use them, they are super expensive. Sometimes I just use them when I am lazy.

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  12. Such great info! Our meds are always separate although we do sometimes mix up each others.

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    1. thanks! With so many kitties I can EASILY understand how you could mix up meds with the other kitties meds!

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  13. Yikes on that story about Cody. I'm glad you didn't give the wrong medication. It's scary.

    We are ever so careful about things around our home. Little Bit is so precious to us we don't what her to suffer because of us.

    Have a purrfect day Cody. My very best to your wonderful mom. ♥♥♥

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    1. I am glad I didn't give the wrong meds too. I am normally vigilant to the point of being so cautious that I am anal. I shared this because even the most vigilant of us have an occasional distracted moment and that distracted moment could kill. xoxoxo

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  14. Wonderful information!!! So important!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  15. Thank you for sharing your scary experience. I am glad you didn't give Cody the wrong med. I am going to keep this number handy and hope I never need it.

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    1. You are welcome and I am happy I didn't give the wrong meds too, I learned a valuable lesson. Praying you never have to use the number either!

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  16. Great post.
    I try to always put mine in a bathroom cabinet on the 1st floor and my cat's medecine downstairs.
    Anyway ... they dont really have meds. Mostly "homeopathie".
    Bonne soirée
    Nat à Chat

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    1. Thank you Nat a Chat!! Yes, mine are usually in my bathroom cabinet too, (they are now!), at that time I don't know why mine were in the kitchen cabinet as well. You are smart not to have meds! Next time Cody has an allergy flare up I should contact you! xoxo

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  17. Phew..what a relief that must have been, Cody. Thank cat it turned out well. Thanks for the awareness :) Pawkisses :) <3

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    1. thanks so much my furiend!!! Mom was beyond relieved! You are most welcome! Love, Cody (and Mom too!)

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  18. Oh yes - human meds can be SO dangerous! (as can so many basic household things!!) Thanks for reminding everyone about this!

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  19. What a scary thing to have happen, Caren! At our house, human meds are in the bathroom and kitty meds are in the kitchen, and after your story, we'll be sure to keep it that way!

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    1. That's exactly how mine normally are (and how they are NOW!) I can't believe I nearly did that to Cody!

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  20. Wonderful post. Caren that sounds so scary. Glad everything turned out good.
    Sue B

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    1. thanks so much Sue, yes I am super glad it did too. I was terrified.

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  21. Great Post! Wes feels for yous Caren! Mommy gived our Hairy Slobbery Sister Sam one of her pills by mistake.. once...
    Same throwed up about 5 minutes after Mommy gived it to her (while Mommy was taking to the vet)
    Scared her smart too!
    Kisses
    Nellie

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    1. thank you so much Nellie! OMG Your Mommy did that by mistake? Oh my your Mom had to be TERRIFIED! I am so glad that Sam threw it up!! Poor Mom though, your Mom is such a good pet Mama and she had to just be insanely terrified like I was! I am glad that all turned out ok! xoxo

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  22. What important information! We're glad your story turned out okay and Cody didn't get the wrong medicine. The mom is gonna make sure the human medicines are kept away from our medicines.

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    1. thanks so much my furiend!! Your Mom is a smart Mama! Love, Cody

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  23. Whoa! That was a close call! Once TW dropped an entire bottle of her pills on the floor. She went crazypants trying to get them while I stood in the middle of the pills. She even woke Pop up so he could walk me away from the mess. Same with the time she spilled lavender oil. What panic. I wasn’t allow to go in that room for weeks. OK, days but it felt like weeks.

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    1. Yep it was! You know what? Did TW blog about the pills? I think she did because I think I remember this! TW could be my Mom's clone MOL!! Mom has spilled to many things in "our" bathroom and she is like TW! Being in a panic and trying to ban me from the room, but that is where my litter box is! Love, Cody

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  24. Meowmy says her mind would have gone into panic mode too.

    Glad that nothing bad actually happened other than your pride was damaged. MOL! Well, no, not funny...

    It seems like we have to get shocked into the better methods or behaviors by the bad/thoughtless things we do sometimes.

    I read labels and there is kitty/doggy tooth cleaning liquid that has xylitol in it...huh?. Nope, not using that anymore.

    The worst scenario here is when the clumsy klutsy meowmy breaks lightbulbs or some other glassware...and then we choose that same moment to come see what the fuss is all about...
    The worst of the worst was when a lamp fell into unfur the elder
    s crib...and the bulb shattered. Our angel furbears were banned...OMC! No fur or peep got stuck with shards though, it was ok in the end.

    Our Aunty just sent us a letter she got from a cousin...who had to have the vet come to her home to help a furry old kitty to the bridge. (Meowmy met that cat in 2008, and he was elderly then...).
    Vet left the syringe on the couch by mistake, it flee on the floor...and that evening cousin's crawling grandchild found the syringe with open and attached needle..with nearly horrific consequences...eye injury...but only superficial...sheesh one nevfur knows what will happen next!

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    1. OMC that story about the needle is completely horrific! OMC! I can't even imagine!!! Yes, now I have to check their toothpaste, everything even more than I normally do!

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  25. Thankfully I don´t have any medicine I have to take !
    But my mom-person tells me that when Sixten was alive and had thyroid medecine , my mom-person put it in a mini dosett that looks like this --- http://www.apotea.se/dosett-mini-r%C3%B6d so no mistakes was made :)

    XOXO

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  26. I panicked with you when I read your story.... I too do things on auto-pilot and then question myself. It's scary when it comes to medications though. This is such an important message to share!

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    1. using the term "auto-pilot" was perfect. That is EXACTLY what happened and you summed up exactly why it was so terrifying because it happened on "auto pilot!"

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