Human Medications Top List of Animal Toxins
This month, the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) released a report that in 2013, they handled over 180,000 cases of pet exposed to possible poisonous substances. Nearly 20 percent of those calls were from owners whose pets got into medicines intended for human use. The top ten calls into the APCC in 2013 involved the following toxins, ranked below in order of call volume:
- Human medications topped the list again with 19.8 percent of all calls. The types of medications pets are exposed to seem to correlate with the most popular medications humans are prescribed.
- Insecticides made up about 15.7 percent of the calls to the APCC.
- Over the counter medications made up 14.7 percent of the call volume, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and fish oil.
- Household items moved up to number four in 2013 with 9.3 percent of the calls.
- Human foods are especially appealing to pets, especially dogs.
- Veterinary medications slid down two spots this year.
- Chocolate ingestion is very common (this is the only category with one item in it). At the APCC, chocolate calls make up 7.7 percent of their call volume –over 26 calls a day!
- Rodenticides are made to kill mice and rats, but they can also kill pets if ingested.
- Plants were approximately 5.4 percent of the calls to the APCC.
- Lawn and garden products round out the top ten, accounting for about 2.8 percent of all calls.
This is the sixth year in a row that prescription human medications have topped this list.