In general, any product that is harmful to humans is also harmful to pets. Examples include obvious things such as cleaning products, rodent poisons and antifreeze but can also be common food items. For a complete guide of foods and common household items that may cause harm to your pet please reference the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) brochure What You Should Know About Household Hazards to Pets.
If your pet's skin or eyes are exposed to a toxic product, check the product label, if present, for exposure instructions. If the label instructs you to wash your hands with soap and water if you are exposed, then wash your pet's skin with soap and water taking care not to get any into the eyes, mouth, or nose. If the label tells you to flush the skin or eyes with water, do this for your pet as soon as possible if you can do it safely, and call a veterinarian immediately.
If you know your pet has consumed something that may be harmful, or if the animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious, or is having difficulty breathing, immediately telephone your veterinarian, an emergency veterinary clinic, or the Animal Poison Control Center hotline 888.426.4435 – available 365 days/year, 24 hours/day. There is a fee for the consultation.
Collect any material your pet may have vomited or chewed, and place it in a plastic sealable bag to take with you when you bring your animal in for veterinary treatment.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers additional information and resources on their website.
If the pet can still breathe, keep it calm and get it to a veterinarian. Use caution when assisting your pet because a choking pet is more likely to bite in its panic. If you can, look into the pet's mouth to see if a foreign object is visible. If something is there, gently try to remove it with pliers or tweezers taking care not to push the object further down the throat. If you have difficulty retrieving the object bring your pet to a veterinarian.
If you can't remove the object or your pet collapses, place both hands on the side of your pet's rib cage and apply firm quick pressure, or lay your pet on its side and strike the rib cage firmly with the palm of your hand three to four times to try to dislodge the object. Keep repeating this until the object is removed or you arrive at your veterinarians office.
You should never leave your pet in the car on warm days because the temperature inside can rise to dangerous levels very quickly even on milder days. In order to give your pet the best chance at survival you should bring them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. If you cannot get care immediately:
If you pet is exhibits symptoms of shock, keep your pet restrained, warm and quiet. If it is unconscious, keep its head level with the rest of the body. Transport your pet immediate to a veterinarian.
Please remember that your pet's likelihood of surviving with resuscitation is very low. However, in an emergency it may give your pet its only chance.
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