Common Pet Poisons

Common Pet Poisons

While many pet owners are aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs, for example, there are many pet poisons that owners are unaware of. Varying in toxicity, these poisons are harmful to your pet, and extra efforts should be taken to prevent your furry friends from ingesting them.

What Are Some of the Most Common Pet Poisons?

Some of the most common pet poisons are common sense, and others may surprise you. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) conducts research of the most common pet poisons each year. According to their research, the most common pet poisons in 2019 were as follows:

  1. Over the counter (OTC) medications
  2. Human prescription medications
  3. Food
  4. Chocolate
  5. Veterinary products
  6. Household items
  7. Rodenticide
  8. Plants
  9. Insecticides
  10. Garden products

See a Full List of Animal Poisons here.

Tips For Prevention

You may be wondering to yourself, “What can I do to make sure my pet doesn’t ingest anything they shouldn’t?” Here are some of the best things you can do to ensure just that:

Know the Most Common Pet Poisons

Knowing which substances are poisonous and which are not will allow you to take any precautions necessary to keep your pet safe and healthy. Read and remember the list above, writing it down for good measure. Accidents can still happen, but the chances of one happening are decreased drastically if you are well educated on the most common pet poisons.

Make The Poisons Hard to Access

Keeping the harmful substances away from your pet is the best way to prevent your pet from ingesting them. Properly store all harmful food in containers and out of reach. When gardening or doing lawn care, keep your pet inside for the time being to prevent them from ingesting fertilizer, insecticide, and other gardening products.

Certain plants can be harmful, as well. Lilies are harmful to cats, and cycad palms are very harmful to both cats and dogs. Keeping these substances out of your pet’s reach is the best preventative measure you can take to ensure your pet’s safety.

Be Careful of Feeding Your Pet Leftovers

It may seem harmless, and it sure can sure be hard to say no to your dog who’s giving you the “puppy eyes,” but feeding your pet the leftovers on your plate may be more harmful than you think. Some of the most common poisons are food that frequents the dinner table. For example, garlic and onions are harmful to your furry friend, as are grapes, raisins, and chocolate.

Have A Plan Just In Case

No matter how cautious you are, mistakes can happen. The best thing you can do is to have a plan of action in case you suspect your pet may have ingested a poisonous substance. Some common symptoms your pet has been poisoned include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Blood in the stool
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bruising
  • Nosebleeds
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Inability to urinate

If you think your pet may have ingested poison, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

Phone Number: (888) 426-4435

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call the number above.

For more information from the Animal Poison Control Center, click here!

If you have any questions about poisonous substances for your pet, give us a call, and we’ll assist you the best we can!

Brush Those Teeth! The Importance of Maintaining Your Pet’s Dental Hygiene

Brush Those Teeth! The Importance of Maintaining Your Pet’s Dental Hygiene

The importance of a healthy dental care routine for your pet is often overlooked. Dental disease is one of the most prevalent health problems of cats and dogs. It has been estimated that more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by the time they’re just three years old. Recent figures have these percentages even higher.

How to Spot Dental Disease

The best way to determine if your pet has dental disease is to have one of our highly experienced and trained veterinarians perform a check-up. That said, if you remain vigilant, there are some common symptoms of dental disease that you can spot at home. The symptoms include:

  • Bad breath
  • Lethargy, inactivity, or depression
  • Salivating
  • Red, swollen, and even bleeding gums
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Dropping food from mouth while eating
  • Facial swelling
  • Discharge from the nose or eyes
  • Pawing at the face
  • Poor grooming
  • Teeth becoming loose or falling out

Why Is Pet Dental Hygiene Important?

Poor pet dental care can lead to oral cancer and periodontal disease. While bad in itself, these diseases are shown to be linked to other health problems throughout the body. Heart, kidney, and liver disease have all been linked to periodontal disease.

So What Can You Do to Help Your Pet?

Brush Regularly

Similarly to how it’s important for humans to brush their teeth regularly, it’s also important to brush your pet’s teeth! Train your pet at an early age to accept tooth brushing, and it will make a massive difference in your pet’s dental health. Aim for once a day, but a few times a week will work well too. If you’re going to use toothpaste (water will suffice), remember, dogs cannot use human toothpaste. It’s toxic for them!

A Healthy “Dental Diet”

You will be flooded with options when browsing online or in the pet store for food. Talk with one of our vets to learn more about which brands/foods are better than others to promote great dental health. There are specific dental diets that consist of dry food that is clinically proven to reduce plaque, stain, and tartar buildup. If nothing else, at least reconsider feeding your pet exclusively wet food, as it leads to a higher accumulation of plaque.

Tooth-Friendly Treats

Just like your pet’s kibble, there are treats that are specifically designed to fight plaque and tartar and improve your furry friend’s teeth. While they should not replace regular brushing or check-ups, they are a good way to promote good dental health while giving your pet a treat.

Regular Dental Checkups

We can’t stress the importance of this enough! While brushing and dental diets are great steps to improve your pet’s dental health, the best way to diagnose and treat dental diseases, such as periodontal disease or oral cancer, is through regular dental exams administered by your vet. Through general anesthesia, we will be able to reach the spots you couldn’t, probe the gums, and screen for diseases that may be hidden otherwise.

Do Some Research

The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) is a great resource to learn more about effective ways to care for your pet’s oral health. They even have a list of approved treats, foods, and products that promote great dental hygiene.

Check them out here!

As always, if you have a question about your pet’s dental health, you can call Northside Animal Hospital at 229-244-2983, and we’ll assist you the best we can!

Spaying & Neutering: What to Know

Spaying & Neutering: What to Know

Spaying and neutering are incredibly important procedures that will reduce the pet overpopulation problem our country has and also help your pet live a longer, healthier life. For those who have recently adopted a pet or are considering it, it is one of the most important health decisions you’ll make for your furry friend.

What’s the Difference?

Spaying

The removal of your female pet’s ovaries and uterus. This procedure requires little hospitalization, yet a lifetime of health benefits.

Neutering

The removal of your male pet’s testicles. It will improve your pet’s behavior and keep him close to home.

What Are the Medical Benefits of Spaying & Neutering?

Protection from Diseases

Spaying your female pet will help them live a longer, healthier life. Spaying can prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are cancerous in around 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. Neutering your male pet can prevent various prostate problems and testicular cancer.

While spaying and neutering can help your animal live a longer and healthier life, there are several behavioral benefits, as well.

What Are the Behavioral Benefits of Spaying & Neutering?

Better Behaved Boys

While your pet’s instinctual personality won’t change, certain behavior problems can be fixed, such as aggression, excessive barking, mounting, and other dominance-related tendencies.

Less Roaming

Animals that haven’t been neutered will try their best to find a mate. This includes roaming away from home! Having your pet neutered will reduce their desire to roam, decreasing their chance of getting injured in traffic or from fighting other males in the process.

No Heat for the Ladies

Your female pet will typically urinate more frequently, sometimes in your home, when they go into heat. Spaying your four-legged friend can eliminate this issue!

When to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Cats

Cats will be ready to be fixed at a younger age than dogs. Traditionally, it is safe for kittens to be spayed or neutered as young as eight weeks old. You want to have them fixed before they’re five months old to avoid the start of urine spraying and reduce the chance of pregnancy.

Dogs

Typically you should spay or neuter your dog when they’re between the ages of six and nine months. That’s not to say that dogs can be fixed earlier or later than that, however.

If a dog is healthy enough, they can undergo the operation as young as 2 months old, although we do not recommend it. Dogs can also be fixed as adults as well, although there is a higher risk of post-operative complications due to their weight, age, or pre-existing health problems.

Rabbits

You can spay or neuter your female bunny as soon as they are sexually mature, usually around 4 months of age. That said, many veterinarians prefer to wait until they are 6 months old, to reduce the risk associated with performing the procedure on a younger rabbit.

Males can be neutered as soon as the testicles descend. This typically happens around 8 to 12 weeks.

A Cost-Effective Solution to Pet Overpopulation

Spaying and neutering are important procedures that will help your pet live a healthier life and curb the massive overpopulation issue we are currently facing. Not to mention, it can help save you money in the long-run.

The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treating reproductive system cancer or injuries from fighting, something that is common in unaltered pets.

Helping Your Pet Live Longer, Healthier & Happier

As a pet owner, you want to do everything you can to keep your furry loved one healthy, happy, and thriving. If you still have questions about spaying and neutering, call Northside Animal Hospital at 229-244-2983 today!