March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, and throughout this month, you will more than likely see a number of bloggers stressing the importance of knowing what items can be harmful to your pets and humans as well.
Our friends at Cat Wisdom 101 did a marvelous post last year 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.
The year before last, 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.
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!