What is Poison Control?
Poison Control is a 24/7/365 service offered by the ASPCA to save pets' lives in the event of, shall we say, potentially lethal gustatory curiosity on the part of our pets.
How does it work and how should you use it?
Remember Pet Safety Tip #1 where we recommended making a page in your smartphone with pet's information including your vet's and emergency vet's contact info AND Poison Control's phone number? Please do that if you haven't already.
Poisoning is the NUMBER ONE cause of death in pre-senior pets, often because the owners do not know about this always-on-call, on-demand service.
Poison Control (888) 426-4435
Think about it. Your pup or your kitty is living in an environment quite different from what his ancestors knew and somehow programmed into his genes. Like Columbus, Magellan, Vasco diGamma, Lewis and Clarke, pup or kitty wants to go places he's never gone before. But unlike the great explorers of history, he also wants to eat what he's never eaten before. And this can be trouble.
By the time you've transported your gastronomic explorer to the vet, it can be too late. And you know what your vet will do? Call Poison Control, for no veterinarian on earth will know how to deal with every single toxin in our increasingly complex world. That's truly Poison Control's their job.
Get them on the phone immediately! They will ask you some questions like what did your pet eat? How much? How long ago? Your pet's underlying health? And, yes, your credit card. For $65 your Poison Control technician will diagnosis, suggest treatment, contact your vet for you, stay on the phone while you transport if necessary and follow up. We consider it a bargain.
Poison Control has an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on every chemical, food, cleaning product, additive sold in the United States. MSDS's are required by law and follow a proscribed pattern showing flammability, volatility, toxicity which your technician will quickly look up for you and suggest what to do. Maybe your pet ingested little enough that you should just watch him for the next 24-48 hours and look for certain symptoms. Or maybe you need to transport to your vet for immediate attention. Since time is critical in poisoning, your technician will phone your vet to prepare what is necessary and will stay on the phone with you as your transport your pet to treatment. All for your $65 fee.
In 40 years ASPCA Poison Control has helped over 3,000,000 dogs and cats who have had unusual dining experiences. Our next few Pet Safety Tips will concern pet poisoning and how to avoid it, the ounce of prevention, you know.
But no matter how good, no matter how careful a pet parent you are you never know what your furry child can think of. Be sure to have Poison Control's phone number in your smartphone because if you ever need it, seconds count.
Poison Control (888) 426-4435
In our next few Safety Tips we are going to explore ways to avoid having to call them.