Animal Poison Control Centers (cont.)

Before Calling 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.

Calling the ASPCA National 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.

A Pet Safety Kit

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 a National Animal Poison Control Center or your local veterinarian.


Last Editorial Review: 3/21/2000



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