Posts Tagged ‘ASPCA’

Did you know the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals [aka, ASPCA] operates a Poison Control Center? It’s true. If your pet ingests something toxic, get advice from trained professionals by calling their 24-hour Hotline at 1-888-426-4435. Have your credit card available, as there is a fee for service.

Recently, the ASPCA Poison Control Center mined its data to discover the Top Ten Animal Toxin calls that it received in 2017, based on 199,000 cases.

Top Ten Animal Toxins of 2017 – Click to enlarge




1. Human prescription medications: 17.5%

2. Over-the-counter medications: 17.4%

3. Food: 10.9%

4. Veterinary products: 8.9%

5. Chocolate: 8.8%

6. Household items: 8.6%

7. Insecticides: 6.7%

8. Rodenticides: 6.3%

9. Plants: 5.4%

10. Garden products: 2.6%

On your next visit to Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, pick up a brochure on 101 household items that can be harmful to your pet!

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I’ll admit, when I began researching information about National Pet Fire Safety Day, I had a particular idea in mind: finding information that helps pet owners keep their pets safe from fire. What I found was different than I expected.

This article by the American Kennel Club and ADT Security Service suggests the purpose of National Pet Fire Safety Day is to raise awareness of how to prevent pets from starting fires.

Yep. You read that correctly. National Pet Fire Safety Day can be all about preventing fires started by pets.

So how might a pet start a fire? We’ve got a few ideas:

  • Cats love to knock things off tables, desks, counters, and other surfaces. Imagine a cat knocking a burning candle or cigarette onto a rug.
  • Dogs occasionally jump up on stoves to get food. A number dogs have knocked stove knobs into the “on” position beneath pots and pans, which have caught fire.
  • Some pets chew on electrical cords, which can create a fire hazard.
  • A pet can grab the cord of a clothes iron or curling iron and pull it down, igniting material on the floor — or the floor itself.

Do these hazards exist in your home? You may need to pet-fireproof your household.

  • Do not leave burning candles unattended, and keep pets out of rooms where there is an open flame. Consider switching to flameless candles.
  • Some stoves have removable knobs to prevent children and pets from accidentally turning on the stove or oven.
  • Put cord covers over exposed wires and cables, or crate your pet so it cannot chew cords while you’re away.
  • Keep pets out of rooms where heated appliances are used.

National Pet Fire Safety Day is also about protecting your pets from fires in the home:

  • Check smoke detectors in the home at least every 6 months to be sure they are working. Change the batteries at those times, also.
  • Affix an “Animals Inside” cling to windows or doors to alert first responders that pets inside will need rescuing.
  • Keep pets carriers and leashes near the door, for a quick evacuation.
  • Keep identification on your pets in case they escape or are brought to a shelter following a house fire. Consider a HomeAgain microchip — a permanent form of pet identification.

By following these tips on National Pet Fire Safety Day and every day, you and your pets can be safer at home.

Bonus: Order your free “Animals Inside” window cling from the ASPCA —  just click here!

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If you have ever considered giving Tylenol or its generic equivalent (acetaminophen) to a sick or injured pet, take our advice:  Don’t do it.

Dogs and cats are not little people in fur coats.  Their physiology is significantly different from ours, such that our medicine cabinet staples can be poisonous to them.

Tylenol (also known as acetaminophen) is deadly to dogs and catsEven one tablet is too much for a cat.  Acetaminophen causes severe liver damage, as well as damage to oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

Signs of Tylenol poisoning include:

  • vomiting
  • breathing difficulty
  • lethargy
  • weakness
  • drooling
  • brown-colored gums

The second stage of poisoning includes:

  • swelling of the face, lips and legs
  • loss of coordination
  • convulsions 
  • coma  

If a pet survives stage 2, it will go into stage 3 and exhibit jaundice due to liver failure; belly pain and an altered mental state.

Tylenol poisoning must always be treated as an emergency. 
Take your pet directly to the 24-hour emergency hospital (Blue Pearl Veterinary Emergency Hospital at 364 South Independence Blvd. in Virginia Beach.)  Pets that recover may need to be on medications and specialized diets to compensate for reduced liver function, for life.

In short, there is no acceptable case in which to give Tylenol or acetaminophen to your pet!


Helpful Phone Numbers

Blue Pearl Veterinary Emergency Hospital…….…………757-499-5463

Pet Poison Helpline ($49 fee)…………………1-855-764-7661


ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center ($65 fee)…………1-888-426-4435


This post originally appeared on January 4, 2011.

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     Whether you’re decking the halls or going into hibernation mode, there are things you can do to protect your pet from holiday hazards.

     Make your home safe for live-in and visiting pets with these tips from Dr. Gail C. Golab.

Frostbite and snow-removal salt:

Snow and salt should be removed from your pet’s paws immediately. 

Frostbitten skin is red or gray and may slough (peel off.)

Apply warm, moist towels to thaw out frostbitten areas slowly until the skin appears flushed.

Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for further care.

Snow removal products should be stored out of the reach of pets and small children, as the products’ toxicity varies considerably.


Toxic plants and holiday/winter products:

     Plants and other items associated with the winter and holiday season can be toxic to your pets.  What follows is a general guide.  Please consult your veterinarian, animal poison control, and the manufacturer for specifics.  Remember, the earlier you seek treatment, the better for your pet!


poinsettia leaves and stems





holly berries and leaves

mistletoe, especially berries 


angel hair (spun glass)

Christmas tree preservatives

snow sprays, snow flock

tree ornaments

super glue




crayons, paints

fireplace colors/salts

plastic model cement

bubbling lights (contain methylene chloride)

snow scenes (may contain salmonella)

aftershave, perfume

alcoholic beverages


epoxy adhesives


     Some of the above items are notable not just for their toxicity, but also for the danger they pose of intestinal blockage or severe irritation to the skin and mucous membranes. 

Keep these numbers handy for emergencies –

BluePearl Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Virginia Beach 757-499-5463

Pet Poison Helpline  1-800-213-6680

ASPCA Animal Poison Control  1-888-426-4435
Image from The Graphics Fairy.
This article was originally posted on December 9, 2011.

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Tonight is the first night of the Easter Triduum:  Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, which bring Lent to an end and begin the Easter Season.

Since I won’t be posting on Sunday, allow me this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Easter.



As for the pet-related content, remember that chocolate (especially dark chocolate, unsweetened chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder) and candies containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol are especially toxic to pets.

We have a Chocolate Toxicity Wheel provided by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, which assists the veterinarian in determining the relative risk of chocolate ingestion in dogs. But let’s be honest: it’s better if we never have to use it! Keep those Easter treats of out your pet’s reach.


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     Most of us will experience the rewards of pet ownership at some point in our lives.  Who can resist the fun of playing with a hyper kitten or a roly-poly puppy?  The bond we form with our pets can be as strong as any ties to our family and friends.  But because of this bond, we can experience very real and painful grief over the loss of our beloved pets.

     Whether the pet has lived a long, full life or one cut tragically short, the grieving process is the same.  There is no timetable to follow, no right way or wrong way to process the pet’s death – there is only your way, in your time.

     If you have lost a pet and feel you need the support of a group of people who understand what you’re going through or you’d like to speak privately to a trained grief support hotline staffer, these are the resources you need to know:

Whatever your level of need, someone is waiting to help you.  For face-to-face grief counseling, ask your physician to recommend a therapist.

Originally published on August 16, 2011.

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     Veterinary Pet Insurance has released a list of its most unusual ingestion claims from 2011. Here are five of the strangest items on the list:

  1. package of fluorescent light bulbs
  2. cholla cactus
  3. deer antlers
  4. tent stake
  5. dead porcupine

     Want to see the other freaky items removed from pets’ innards? The complete list can be found at VPI’s Hambone Awards.

     Granted, most of us don’t have a dead porcupine or a set of deer antlers scattered about the house, where the dog can help itself to a buffet. But we do have plenty of household objects that can be just as dangerous, warns the ASPCA.

     Here are five to watch out for:

  1. batteries
  2. rubber bands
  3. plastic wrap
  4. nylons
  5. cotton swabs

     Visit our clinic and pick up a copy of the ASPCA’s pamphlet “101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet.” Or I can mail it to you. Just ask!      ~~  Jen

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