Top 10 Toxin Calls in 2014

This article is taken directly from

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center tallied calls received in 2014, and some common themes emerged. Check out the 10 substances that accounted for the most calls.

1. Human Prescription Medications

Human medications topped the list of calls the APCC received in 2014, and the types of medications closely reflect the most common human prescriptions. Cardiac medications (especially antihypertensives) led the list, closely followed by antidepressants and pain medications.

2. OTC Medications

Over-the-counter products had a huge increase in volume, perhaps due to the popularity of herbal and other natural supplements. This category included more than 6,900 different products.

3. Insecticides

Insecticides dropped to third place with 9.1% of the call volume.

4. Household Items

Household items such as cleaning products, expandable glues, and paints are often accessible for pets and remain a significant concern, accounting for 8.1% of calls.

5. Human Food

Dogs love to ingest xylitol, grapes, raisins, onion and garlic. Unfortunately, they don't know that the bite of hamburger bun that was given to them last night was a great treat, but the two-pound bag of grapes on the counter will probably land them in the ER.

6. Veterinary Medications

All the hard work that has been done to make medications more palatable is generally a great thing – except, of course, when pets get into their tasty chewables and eat them all. Ingestions such as NSAIDS, heartworm medications, phenylpropanolamine and joint supplements are still common and accounted for 7.3% of calls.

7. Chocolate

Chocolate ingestion accounts on average for over 26 calls a day! Easter, Halloween, Valentine's Day and Christmas are particularly high-volume chocolate call days for the APCC and for veterinary hospitals.

8. Plants

These calls mainly involve houseplants, and accounted for 4.8% of call volume. And while there are plenty of dogs looking to chew on plants, they are even more popular with cats.

9. Rodenticides

The category dropped one spot to number nine, with anticoagulants still causing the most concern.

10. Lawn and Garden Products

This category rounds out the top 10 at 2.7% of calls. Many exposures were because products weren't stored out of the reach of pets, or pets were allowed onto lawns before treatments were completely dry.

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