Friday, March 4, 2016

Poison Prevention Awareness Month for Humans and Their Pets

The ASPCA just released their list of  the TOP PET TOXINS OF 2015,  which inspired me to share portions of a post that I did on this important topic last year. Mine is based on real-life experience and it is definitely worth repeating. Also on February 29th, 2016 our friends at East Side Cats did a timely post addressing a Medication Error   that is worth a look as well!

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.

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!

36 comments:

  1. What a scare indeed. I would have been in full panic mode too. Glad it turned out okay.

    We were ever so careful with Little Bit. She had so many issues and I will say we kept her medicine in a different cabinet than our medicine.

    Have a fabulous day. Big hugs to you and tons of scritches to Cody and Dakota. ♥♥♥

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  2. Yikes, Caren...I too would have been crazy with panic! Thanks for the post.

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  3. How scary but glad Cody didn't get the wrong pill! This is very good information about poison prevention too!

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  4. That was great info and we're glad nothing bad went wrong! Have a fun weekend Cody!

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  5. OMC, what a scary story ! We're glad it has a happy end ! Great information, thank you. Purrs

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    1. Thank you! Me too!!!! You are most welcome! xoxo

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  6. dood....thanx for sharin thiz post.....we R happee everee thing terned out for ewe N mom.....de food servizz gurl noes how scared yur mom waz...her hada similar circumstance once....her thinked her waz gonna have an a tack oh de heart til stuff settled down ~~~

    heerz two a king oh de herrings kinda week oh end ♥♥♥

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    1. you are most welcome!! Exactly! I thought I was going to die. My poor Vet. When I called him I was screaming into the phone and it was after 11pm. He is such an Angel. So happy all turned out well for you too! xoxo

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  7. My human used the ASPCA hotline once, when she thought I had chewed on a plant and wasn't sure if it would make me sick (it turned out to be non-poisonous for kitties). Because of a deal my microchip company has, we got this service for free!

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    1. That's great that you got it for free Summer (great microchip company!!), that being said, if paying a fee could possibly save the life of my pet, I have no problem with it. I paid the $60 something dollar fee gladly......it goes to a good cause. Cody's life is much more important to me than a $60 something fee.

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  8. That woulda scared our mom TO DEATH too!!! ANd yes, the fee would be WELL worth it!

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  9. Wow, quite scary! I'm glad everything turned out okay. Very, very good lesson to share. I have an emergency vet magnet on our fridge - will be putting the pet poison line on there too!

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    1. thank you!! Just remember that it is there lol!!! I was so terrified that I completely went blank and forgot mine was there!

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  10. OMC! I remember that time too when you thought you gave Cody your meds. This morning when I had my asthma attack, it was dark and TW reached for the pred. Even though that’s the only med on the kitchen counter, she still panicked until she could look at the label. Wonderful infographic.

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  11. Very important information for every pet owner. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  12. Oh, that is so scary! We sure are glad Cody was okay. That pet poison hotline is such a great resource. Something you never want to have to use, but comforting to know you can.

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  13. That is a good number to have on the fridge along with the nearest after hours vet (which I don't have but plan on looking it up).

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  14. That is a good number to have on the fridge along with the nearest after hours vet (which I don't have but plan on looking it up).

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  15. Wow! How scary!! You are right about keeping medicines separate! Its too easy to mix things up when you're tired or distracted. Thanks for the important info!!

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  16. Great info in this post today, thanks!
    We are happy things worked out well with the potential med mix up.
    It's good to have some place to call.
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

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  17. Thank you for sharing your personal story and thank heavens all turned out okay! Such important tips and advice you've shared - love the graphic too! Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey kitties

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  18. Thanks for this important and informative post. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo p.s. So happy that NO harm came to Cody.

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  19. Thanks for sharing your story. It's so important for everyone to think about making sure you have a way to minimize the risk of giving a pet the wrong medication. And I'm glad Cody was ok!

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  20. That is scary, I am glad you didn't give him your meds and all was well. Good reminder to keep our meds separate from our pets.

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  21. Great information, Caren and Cody! Thank Cat Cody is doing fine <3 Pawkisses for a Happy Sunday :) <3

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  22. Such helpful information in this post! That infographic is great.

    Your experience with Cody sounds like it sure was a scare. I'm so glad it all turned out okay. When I was a kid, one of our dogs (our Sheltie mix, actually) found a bag of chocolate that we didn't even remember getting (we to this day still don't even know where in the house she found it). Well, she was a food fiend and ate all of it, but, luckily, immediately vomited most of it back up. Nevertheless, we rushed her to the ER. Since her heart rate was elevated, they kept her overnight and used some activated charcoal to clear the rest of the chocolate out of her. She ended up perfectly fine, although she was defecating candy wrappers for days. Our furbabies sure know how to give us a run for out money, don't they?

    Thank you for sharing such great info, as always! Purrs!

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    1. oh my thank God that didn't have a dire result!!!!! Dakota is a "food fiend" and I can definitely see how that would happen. Our extended family can't stand me because when I entertain the family here, I rarely serve desserts with chocolate in it. I know everyone loves chocolate, but I hate the risk of either Cody or Dakota getting into it. I know it sounds extreme, but I don't care. They can do what they want at their own homes.

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  23. Thanks for all the really great information!
    Have a super Sunday...

    Noodle and crew

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  24. Scary story. That's why my meds are kept in a drawer in my room and my cat's meds in a drawer downstairs in the laundry room.
    I'm really paranoiac. I check and check every single product.
    And I am so happy that my two girls are not people friendly. It means that they will never go to see other people for food.
    Bonne journée
    Nat à Chat

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  25. Great info which I've shared!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  26. That is great of you to share this, Caren! It's hard to admit our mistakes sometimes so kudos to you for being willing to do so to help others. We don't keep human meds with the cats, but we do keep the dog and cat meds in the same cabinet, so the same thing could surely happen. Thanks for making me realize that is probably a bad practice too.

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  27. We's so sorry you had to go thru dat but glad it wasn't serious. We had a pill mix up once, but kuldn't afford da hotline, so we just had to wait and see. Fankfully all was well with us too. Gweat posty. Have a pawsum day.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

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  28. Medication errors are scary things. Why just the other day, Meowmy went to the pharmacy to pick up a refill for Minko...and instead of prednisolone, they had filled the bottle with prednisone, OMC:(

    Good thing meowmy checked before paying.

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