IMPORTANT INFORMATION

White Shepherd

PET POISON PREVENTION

Did you know that there are substances in your home that are poisonous to your pet?
All of these products are easily found in stores. In fact, pet owners buy, use--and eat--them regularly.

To help get the word out about how to keep animal companions safe from accidental
poisoning, the ASPCA is stepping up educational efforts during National Poison Prevention Week,
March 17-23.

"Most pet owners simply do not know that small amounts of chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts and bread dough can be fatal if ingested by a dog," says Dr. Steven Hansen, Senior Vice President, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC). And many cats are poisoned in the spring from plants, including daffodils and lilies.

For a comprehensive rundown of potentially dangerous substances, visit the APCC online, http://www.aspca.org.

You may be surprised to find something that many humans can't do without on that list--that
morning pick-me-up cup of tea or coffee. Both contain caffeine, a stimulant that, if ingested, can cause increased heart rate in pets, hyperactivity, seizures and tremors.


"The typical scenario is that the dog gets into the trash and eats the coffee grounds out of the garbage," says APCC's Jill A. Richardson, DVM. One typical case involved a golden retriever whose owners noticed that he was unusually excited to see them when they got home. "But the dog didn't settle down like he normally did," says Richardson, "and actually started getting more stimulated." The owners didn't have a clue as to what was wrong--until they saw paw prints next to the kitchen trash, which had been knocked over, and remembered that they'd thrown away a filter containing coffee grounds that morning. They promptly brought their dog to their veterinarian, who
contacted the APCC. Reports Richardson, "Our veterinarian asked the attending vet to thoroughly examine the dog, taking note of the animal's heart rate. It was elevated, and the dog was shaking a
bit." After the treatment recommended by APCC had been administered--including medication, intravenous fluids and activated charcoal--the canine's clinical signs were under control within an hour.

Both coffee beans and caffeinated teas can also be harmful to your pet if enough are ingested. If you suspect that your pet has eaten coffee grinds or another product containing caffeine--or has gotten into any other potentially dangerous substance--call your
veterinarian or the APCC's emergency hotline at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP for telephone
assistance 24/7.

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