Summary of Small Animal Poison Exposures

Chapter 13 Summary of Small Animal Poison Exposures


About 75% to 80% of animal-related telephone calls to human poison centers involve dogs, about 15% involve cats, and the remainder involve cage birds, pocket pets, pot-bellied pigs, rats, rabbits, and the like. Almost 75% of the dog calls involve Labrador retrievers, a frequency of calls not surprising for a breed that instinctively retrieves things by mouth. The oral retrieving instinct is a point to seriously consider emphasizing in all “new puppy” orientations, particularly those for retriever breeds. Presumably, very few canine veterinarians have not seen a toxicosis in a typical 6-month-old Labrador dog. Data for inquiries by dog and cat owners is summarized in Table 13-1.

Table 13-1 Animal-Related Telephone Calls Reported by AAPCC Centers14

  Category (percentage of the total)
Subcategory Percentages of Total Calls Specific Examples
Pesticides (∼31%)
Insecticides ∼22% Amitraz, carbamate, organophosphate, pyrethrin-based products for indoor, lawn or garden applications
Rodenticides ∼7% Anticoagulants, bromethalin, cholecalciferol, strychnine, zinc phosphide based products
Herbicides ∼1% Cholorphenoxy- and glyphosate-based products
Fungicides <0.25%
Household Products (13%)
Cleaning Products ∼6.5% Laundry, dishwasher, hand, and carpet cleaning soaps
Cosmetics ∼2.7%
Paints ∼1.5% Interior and exterior latex and organic-based paint products
Batteries ∼0.75% Alkali, nickle/cadmium, type AAA through C and “button” products
Note: Deodorizers, swimming pool products, alcohols, moth repellants, fumes and gases, and tobacco products each comprised less than 0.5% of the total.

  Category (percentage of the total)
Subcategory Percentages of Total Calls Specific Examples
Biotoxins (12%)
Plants ∼11% Members of the family Araceae, and plants with GI irritant and cardioactive compounds
Bites/stings ∼1% Bees, wasps, snakes, spiders
Mushrooms <1.0%
Over-the-Counter Drugs (12%)
Analgesics ∼3% Primarily nonsteroidal antiinflammatory and acetaminophen-containing products
Topical preparations ∼3% Facial, body, suntan and sunscreen creams and lotions
Gastrointestinal agents ∼1.4% Antacids, bismuth, cimetidine, ranitidine-containing products
Cough/cold products ∼1.25% Antihistamines and decongestants
Vitamins ∼1% Vitamins A, B’s, C, D, E and micronutrients (selenium, zinc, etc.)
Note: Antihistamines, eye, ear, nose or throat, electrolytes and minerals, asthma remedies, and diagnostic agents each comprised less than 1% of the total.
Prescription Drugs (14%)
Antimicrobials ∼2%
Hormones ∼1.25% Estrogen and progesterone-containing products
Hypnotic/ ∼1.0% Tricyclic antidepressants
Note: Cardiovascular, antidepressant, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, diuretics, anesthetics, anticoagulants, anticholinergics, and antineoplastics each comprised less than 1% of the total.
Miscellaneous (5%)
Foreign bodies ∼3.3%
Note: Matches, fireworks, and lacrimators each comprised less than 0.5% of the total.
Building Products (3.5%)
Chemicals 2.3%
Note: Construction products and heavy metals each comprise less than 1% of the total.

  Category (percentage of the total)
Subcategory Percentages of Total Calls Specific Examples
Automotive Products (4%)
Hydrocarbons ∼3% Primarily gasoline
Antifreeze, etc. ∼1.25% Ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol
Art-Craft Products (2.5%)
Adhesives, artcraft products 2.5%
Miscellaneous Drugs (3%)
Street drugs ∼1.0% Cocaine, ecstacy, cannabinols, etc.
Note: Veterinary drugs, serum, and vaccines each comprise less than 0.5% of the total.
Fertilizer ∼2.3% Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and plant micronutrients
Food poisoning ∼2% Garbage, rancid food (Staphlococcus, E. coli)

Table 13-1 represents a compilation of animal related telephone calls reported by American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) certified centers during the past decade and a half. The data are presented in decreasing percentage of the total number of calls sorted by major chemical category. The subcategory column lists the percentage of the total, not the percentage of the category. The third column lists examples of the products involved in the inquiries. Table 13-1 is intended to convey the breadth of inquiry by owners of companion animals and provide some indication of the prevalence of those inquiries; however, it does not reflect the actual incidence of exposures or toxicoses.

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Sep 11, 2016 | Posted by in SMALL ANIMAL | Comments Off on Summary of Small Animal Poison Exposures

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