Be Prepared !
Your animal may become poisoned in spite of your best efforts to prevent it. Because of this, you should be prepared.
Your animal companions regularly should be seen by a local veterinarian to maintain overall health. You should know the veterinarian's procedures for emergency situations, especially ones that occur after usual business hours. You should keep the telephone numbers for the veterinarian , ASPCA/APCC , and a local emergency veterinary service in a convenient location.
If you want to be better prepared to handle emergencies involving cats and dogs, take a Pet First Aid Course.
You may benefit by keeping a pet safety kit on hand for emergencies. Such a kit should contain:
- A fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide 3% (USP)
- Can of soft dog or cat food, as appropriate
- Turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe
- Saline eye solution to flush out eye contaminants
- Artificial tear gel to lubricate eyes after flushing
- Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid in order to bathe an animal after skin contamination
- Rubber gloves to prevent you from being exposed while you bathe the animal
- Forceps to remove stingers
- Muzzle to keep the animal from hurting you while it is excited or in pain
- Pet carrier to help carry the animal to your local veterinarian
You should not attempt any therapy on your pet without contacting either the Center or your Veterinarian.
Before You Call the Center:
If you suspect that your pet has been exposed to a poison, it is important not to panic. While rapid response is important, panicking generally interferes with the process of helping your animal.
Take 30 to 60 seconds to safely collect and have at hand the material involved. This may be of great benefit to the Center professionals as they determine exactly what poison or poisons are involved. In the event that you need to take your animal to your local veterinarian, be sure to take with you any product container . Also bring any material your pet may have vomited or chewed , collected in a zip-lock bag.
If your animal is having a seizure, losing consciousness, unconscious or having difficulty breathing, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Most veterinarians are familiar with the consulting services of the Center. Depending on your particular situation, your local veterinarian may want to contact the Center personally while you bring your pet to the animal hospital.
Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
When you call the Center, be ready to provide:
- Your name, address and telephone number
- Information concerning the exposure (the amount of agent, the time since exposure, etc.). For various reasons, it is important to know exactly what poison the animal was exposed to. [If the agent is part of the Animal Product Safety Service, the consultation is at no cost to the caller.]
- The species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved
- The agent your animal(s) has been exposed to, if known
- The problems your animal(s) is experiencing.
If you are unable to access the 900 number, call your telephone company for assistance or use the 888 number. When the 888 number is used, your credit card number will likely be required in addition to the above information.
Information from ASPCA