Steps to Take if You Suspect Your Small Pet Has Ingested Something Poisonous
You've tightened all the lids on your household cleaners. You've placed medications inside a high cupboard with a safety latch. You've made a First Aid Kit stocked with everything you think your small pet will need in an emergency. And then, it happens.
As you are rearranging some furniture, your elbow bumps your Syrian hamster's habitat and knocks it to the floor. Your first thoughts are about your precious pet's safety. But the habitat holds - except for its door, which drops open on its hinges. From the opening darts your hamster. You are a bit relieved to see he is fine. But as he squeezes between the slats on the grate covering the heating duct in your wall, you begin to second guess yourself. Just how safe have you made your house? And how safe is your pet, now on the loose somewhere within it?
Despite your best search efforts, it takes you a few hours to find your elusive hamster. When you finally do find him, he is huddled behind your entertainment center, wheezing above a small pile of what looks like leaves from your favorite houseplant. When you reach to pick up your pet, he shirks away from you, bounds a few steps, and then stops. Is that houseplant poisonous? Has your pet eaten something else? Is he going to be all right?
Even the best precautions in poison prevention can be thwarted by an innocent accident. If you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, remain calm, but seek immediate medical attention. Many local veterinarians remain on-call at all times. Your specific veterinarian is the best person to contact, as he/she is familiar with your pet and his history. To help ensure your pet receives adequate care, keep the following in mind:The Animal Poison Control Center: Your Small Pet's Safety Net
In an emergency, pet owners can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. The ASPCA has the nation's only animal poison control center staffed by twenty-five veterinarians, including five board-certified veterinary toxicologists and ten certified veterinary technicians. Located in Urbana, Illinois, the specially trained staff offers assistance to pet owners and specific diagnostic and treatment recommendations to veterinarians pertaining to toxic chemicals and dangerous plants, products, or substances. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Center also offers extensive veterinary toxicology expert consulting on a wide array of subjects, including legal cases, formulation issues, product liability, and regulatory reporting. To reach the ASPCA, call: