Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Top Pet Poisons and How to Avoid Them -A Guest Blog by Heather Reynolds, Trupanion Pet Insurance

 Heather Reynolds is a pet lover and internet journalist at Trupanion, North America’s fastest growing pet insurance company. Trupanion offers a simple, customizable pet insurance policy with no payout limits and 90% coverage of veterinary bills. Enrolled pets receive lifetime coverage for diagnostic tests, surgeries, and medications if they get sick or are injured, with no incident, annual or lifetime limit.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals releases a list every year of the top pet toxins. For the fourth time in a row, human medications topped the list. Almost 25 percent of the calls received to the poison control center were in response to pets accidentally ingesting these drugs.

The most common offenders were ibuprofen, antidepressants and ADHD medications. Here is a little more about each of these toxins:

·         Ibuprofen is a common over-the-counter drug used to reduce fever and relieve pain from headaches, muscle aches, backaches, and the common cold. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, lethargy, and dehydration. If not treated, kidney failure may result.
·         Antidepressants include a wide variety of medications such as imipramine, desimipramine, and trimipramine. Even in humans these medications cause side effects like diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, and weight gain. In pets, symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, disorientation, anxiety, aggression, seizures, change in body temperature, weakness, tremors, and rash. If not treated, the pet could die.
·         Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed childhood behavioral disorder. Medications for this condition include Concerta, Adderall, and Ritalin. In only takes a small dose of these medications to cause life-threatening health problems in pets, including tremors, seizures, elevated body temperatures, and heart problems.

Pet insurance can help with the cost associated with treatment for these poisonings, but the main goal would be to avoid it in the first place. If you have medications in your home, even over-the-counter drugs, it’s important to keep them locked up or otherwise out of reach of pets at all times.

If you think your pet may have ingested human medication, call your veterinarian immediately. You can also call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at 888-426-4435.


  1. Hear ye! Hear ye! Them pills may look colourful and attractive...but DANGEROUS!!!! purrr...meow!

  2. Dear Caren,
    Thank you for this information. I think it's going to help the cost for a lots of pawrents.

  3. I hope everyone pays attention, poisons are easy to avoid if everyone does their part!

  4. @Cat-In-Sydney you said it! xoxo

    @Mr.Puddy you are welcome! That is true! If pawrents are careful it will cost less. Both monetarily AND emotionally xoxo

    @Brian, I hope so too! I am vigilant about it, my husband is a little lax with it, I have to stay on top of everything! xoxo

  5. Excellent reminder friend. All the oomans need to be reminded not to leave things like dat laying around where we can eat dem.

  6. Cody and Caren, as well as Heather, thank you for this reminder about how dangerous people medication can be for our beloved four-legged friends.

    Our four boys are "so quick", as I would imagine most others are as well, so they can easily grab something toxic sometimes before we even see the pill is around them.

    Fortunately, we keep such things out of the reach of ours but it helps to have this reminder so we can pass the information to our friends and family.

    And I appreciate knowing about the availability of pet insurance.

  7. The best way is to keep all medication in a cupboard with the door firmly closed.
    luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  8. Thanks for the post, Caren. This is a very important reminder cum message to pet owners. Sometimes we human just take things for granted or we just think it won't happen to us but we should also know that accident is something that we can't foresee at all. As the old saying goes,' prevention is better than cure.'

  9. Wow, I never would have imagined that human medications could be a culprit, I was just thinking about plants and flowers! Thanks for publishing this Caren, a good reminder for us all :-)

  10. very helpful, they're so inquisitive, you never know what they'll crawl, snoop, slither or climb into!! Ms. Z.

  11. Dear Caren,
    A VERY informative post! Me has sent it to Mommy so she reads it too!

  12. Another one that is VERY dangerous for dogs (I'm not sure if cats would even bother messing with it) is asthma inhalers. I make sure that mine are always kept way out of reach of the dogs because it can be deadly for them. I've read a few very sad stories about dogs that chewed on someone's inhaler.

  13. Thank You very much for this information!
    Beautiful post!

  14. It is so easy for pets to just gobble up a pill dropped on the floor and it's far more potent to their tiny bodies than it is to ours!

  15. @Mario that is thanks to Trupanion but thank you!

    @Amin you are most welcome!

    @houndstooth thank you for this tip. I think that is excellent info!

    @Nellie thanks so much for sending it to your Mommy! We hope she likes it!

    @Ms. Z you are soooo right!!! I have to watch both Cody and Dakota like a hawk!

    @Cat I am so glad too that Trupanion sent this. This post is thanks to Heather Reynolds and I am so happy she brought this to all of our attention to!

    @Priscilla very well stated and I couldn't agree more!

    @Hannah and Lucy, or under lock and key if at all possible!

    @Karen ohhh yes they are quick! I always say that Dakota is like a shark! He steals things and swallows them in one swallow! cody isn't as bad but I have to watch him too

  16. A couple of us kitties here has to take medication, but it gets put away each time with the caps on. It is good to be reminded though.

    Moe, Mindy, BonBon, Cookie and Mike

  17. @Team Tabby, yep it is always good to be reminded! :)

  18. Good info! To answer your questions - Tabitha is chewing on bromeliad leaves!

  19. Greetings,

    This is a very good post and I would like to add that since I take numerous heart medications, the pill jars have a similar sound as when I retrieve a pouch of treats for Ms Kitty and she shows up wanting to know where are her treats.

    So to be safe, I add the various medications for the evening into a small cup, this way I can check I have the right amount and at the same time keep any from spilling onto the floor, should Ms K be around.

    Thank you for sharing,
    Ms Kitty and Egmont

  20. @Cats of Wildcat Woods, thanks for answering my question but I have no clue what those are! :)

    @Miss Kitty I think your suggestion is a wonderful one. I should start doing that myself. That is a great idea!

  21. It's always nice to read all the great comments from your readers, Caren. Small pet folks you have here!

  22. @Heather, I am blessed. I have AMAZING followers! They are super supportive, responsive, I am extremely blessed! Thanks so much for stopping by! Ohhh I think you meant to say they are "smart" pet folks!! lol....unless of course they are hamsters or gerbils or something! lol

  23. Always consult a Veterinary Doctor, Before deciding on any Medicines for your Pet.