People often use pesticides in their homes or yards to control a variety of pests such as insects, weeds and rodents. Pet owners may also apply pesticide products directly to their pets to control ticks and/or fleas. Although these pesticides can be beneficial, they have the potential to hurt your pet if they are not stored and used properly.
Here are some tips to reduce risk when using pesticides around pets:
· Remove pets from the area before you begin applying pesticides.
· Remove all pet toys, chew bones, food bowls and bedding from the area as well.
· Always read and follow the pesticide label directions before using any pesticide.
· Keep pets away from treated areas until the pesticide is completely dry and the area has been well ventilated. The label may contain more specific instructions.
· Cover fish tanks to prevent liquid and vapors from entering the tank. If you use foggers (bug bombs), always turn off fish tank pumps during the application.
· Pesticide baits are often prepared with food ingredients that can be attractive to pets. If you use rat, mouse or gopher baits or baits for slugs and snails, place the baits in locations where your pet cannot reach them. Pets often dig up baits that were buried.
· Pets can be poisoned by eating poisoned prey. This is known as secondary (or relay) poisoning. Consider selecting a bait product with lower potential for secondary poisoning.
· Granular lawn products may require keeping the pets off the treated area for 24 hours or longer while the granules dissolve and the treated area dries. Check the label for specific instructions.
· If you hire a pest control company or lawn service, talk to them about the products they are using and the potential risk to your pets.
What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned
Don't panic. Rapid response is important, but panicking can interfere with the process of helping your pet.
Take 30 to 60 seconds to safely collect and have at hand any material involved. This may be of great benefit to your vet, as they determine what poison or poisons are involved. In the event that you need to take your pet to a local veterinarian, be sure to take the product's container with you. Also, collect in a sealable plastic bag any material your pet may have vomited or chewed.
If you witness your pet consuming material that you suspect might be toxic, do not hesitate to seek emergency assistance, even if you do not notice any adverse effects. Sometimes, even if poisoned, an animal may appear normal for several hours or for days after the incident.
Call your veterinarian immediately.
Be ready with the following information:
· The species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved.
· The animal's symptoms.
· Information regarding the exposure, including the agent (if known), the amount of the agent involved and the time elapsed since the time of exposure.
· Have the product container/packaging available for reference.
Please note: If your animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing, telephone ahead and bring your pet immediately to your local veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic. Be Prepared
Keep the telephone number of your local veterinaryian and the emergency veterinary clinic in a prominent location.
Invest in an emergency first-aid kit for your pet. The kit should contain:
· A fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent USP (to induce vomiting)
· A turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe (to administer peroxide)
· Saline eye solution
· Artificial tear gel (to lubricate eyes after flushing)
· Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid (for bathing an animal after skin contamination)
· Forceps (to remove stingers)
· A muzzle (to protect against fear- or excitement-induced biting)
· A can of your pet's favorite wet food
· A pet carrier
Always consult a veterinarian for directions on how and when to use any emergency first-aid item.
ASPCA has a Posoin control line for animals. If the vetrinarian is not familiar with the type of poison, they will work with the vertrinarian to assist with treatment. The number is (888) 426-4435. Please Note: There is a $65 fee for this service.