Advisory to pet owners to remain vigilant as Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month ends
NEW YORK – Veterinary experts from Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group (VERG) in Brooklyn are reminding pet owners to remain proactive and take precaution of possible poisonous predicaments and what to do if their pet becomes poisoned as Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month comes to a close.
American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has designated March as a time to spread awareness of pet toxicity dangers and the preventative measures to avoid them. According to veterinary experts at VERG, household items like gardening supplies, medications and certain food can have dire, and possibly lethal, effects if ingested.
According to Dr. Brett Levitzke, chief medical officer at VERG, one of the biggest contributors to pet poisonings are garden products and plants that are toxic for canines. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that 5.5 percent of accidental pet poisonings are from plants, both indoor and outdoor. Some plants, including philodendrons, aloe, tulips, azaleas, Lily of the Valley, dieffenbachia and others, pose a significant risk to canines if ingested, with some leading to serious health complications or even death.
“Fertilizer products can be extremely harmful to dogs, so it is important to be cautious while gardening and performing lawn care,” says Levitske. “Pet owners should take initiative to read product packaging, as well as educate themselves about their plants and gardening products. When adding new foliage to your home, be sure to get pet friendly plants like spider plants, orchids or succulents.”
Additionally, pet owners should be sure to avoid dangerous household foods that could potentially poison their pet, including milk, cooked chicken bones, fatty meats, alcohol, grapes and more. Levitzke also warns that non-prescribed human or canine medications ingested by your pet pose a significant health risk and should be addressed right away.
According to Levitzke, common symptoms of pet poisonings include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and seizures, while more severe cases can lead to irregular heartbeats, disorientation, cardiac stroke, renal and kidney failure, and sometimes death. If an owner sees their dog chewing on a plant, remove it as quickly as possible and rinse the dog’s mouth with water. If the plant is identified as poisonous to canines, contact your local veterinary hospital immediately.
If you suspect your dog has been poisoned, contact your emergency veterinary office immediately or contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. If you have general questions about pet poisonings, please visit www.VERG-Brooklyn.com or call 718.522.9400.
About Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group:
Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group (VERG) was formed in 2005 by Dr. Brett Levitzke to provide emergency services and specialty medicine to the Brooklyn community. Open 24-hours, seven days a week, VERG’s team of emergency doctors, specialty doctors, technicians and assistants are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care within a nurturing environment. Their services include cardiology, critical care, dermatology, emergency care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, radiology and more.