Oklahoma Pet Owners Are Poisoning Their Pets Without Knowing It

Wednesday, November 3rd 2010, 9:27 am
By: News On 6

Jamie McGriff, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- It's hard to think about, but you could be poisoning your pets without even knowing it.

Some pet owners are doing just that, poisoning their animals.

Take Anne, an Australian Shepherd mix and the busy body of three dogs living at this Tulsa home.

"I can't imagine life without my dogs," said Anne's owner Tracy Davenport.

Annie likes to get into things, but recently she got into the wrong stuff while her owner was away.

"I came home and I saw the Benadryl box on the floor and they're sort of in little envelopes and she had not gotten into that and I thought oh-thank goodness," said Tracy Davenport. "And then I walked further into the living room and I saw the cap off the bottle of Rimadyl which is one of the medicines that I have to give one of my older dogs for arthritis."

Tracy Davenport says her dog knocked this off the kitchen counter and ate half of the flavored pills inside.

"I was just panicked, crying," said Davenport.

Tracy rushed Annie to an animal emergency room where doctors induced vomiting and treated her with IV fluids.

"You know if they get into their pill vial, they'll eat two weeks supply in one sitting," Tracy Davenport said.

Veterinarian Dr. Mike Jones says anything in the house is fair game when it comes to your pets.

"We've seen dogs eat a complete month's supply of birth control pills, we've seen dogs get into blood pressure medication, we've seen them take their anti-arthritic medication," said Dr. Mike Jones.

Medicines designed for human consumption are especially dangerous.

"We're talking the dose for a 100 to 150 pound person into say a 10 or 15 pound dog or cat and that's a lethal overdose," said Dr. Jones.

So far in 2010 the ASPCA has received 91 calls from pet owners in Oklahoma whose pets were exposed to a human medication. In 2009 the total number of calls from concerned Oklahomans was 126.

Some of those medicines include, pain killers, ADHD drugs, antihistamines, decongestants and other cold medications, multivitamins, and nutritional supplements.

Side effects in pets could be anything from vomiting, intestinal ulcers to kidney damage.

Dr. Jones says make sure that you put all of your medicine in a place where, animals can't get to it and when you're taking your own medicine, be careful where you're taking it. Because it could be a problem.

"I have that problem with the elderly. As they're taking their blood pressure medications, things of that nature they may drop one. They may not notice it and then a cat comes by and thinks it's a toy and then he eventually eats," said Dr Mike Jones.

Tracy Davenport learned an important lesson. "The obvious, keep your medicines away out of reach of the dogs," said Davenport.

If you have pets, veterinarians recommend you keep the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline (888) 426-4435 ready.

If your animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing, take your pet to your local veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic immediately.