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Handbag Hazards

There are many dangerous items lingering in your bag that can cause potentially life threatening illness to your cat or dog. Below is a list of the most common items for which every pet owner should be made aware. bigstock_Puppy_And_Kitten_2060119_1.jpg

1. Hand Sanitizer

2. Sugarless gum

3. Human Medications

4. Cigarettes

5. Inhalers for asthma

Hand Sanitizer contains up to 95% ethanol (alcohol). If a dog ingests an entire bottle that could be the equivalent of a full glass of hard liquor! Alcohol is rapidly absorbed and can cause decreased blood pressure, blood sugar and hypothermia (low temperature). If enough is consumed, dogs can suffer seizures and difficulty breathing.

Many packs of sugarless gum contain an ingredient called xylitol. Xylitol can also be found in many other sugarless treats such as breath mints, vitamins and toothpaste. The amount of xylitol in each of these products can be very different. Xylitol consumed in low quantities can cause a rapid decrease in blood sugar levels as well as vomiting, weakness and tremors. At high quantities, xylitol can cause liver failure and ultimately death

Human medications such as aspirin, beta blockers and anti depressants can all cause serious signs to your beloved pet if ingested even in small quantities. Aspirin can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure, beta blockers can cause weakness, slow heart rate and collapse and anti depressants can cause agitation or sedation, drooling and seizures.

Cigarettes contain nicotine which is another very fast acting toxin and only a few need to be eaten to cause dramatic changes. This ingestion can cause vomiting, weakness, seizures and collapse.

Lastly, asthma inhalers can be another potential hazard. Inhalers that contain the active ingredient albuterol are the most dangerous. Typically dogs like to chew on the canisters and then ingest a very concentrated form of albuterol. This can cause vomiting, extreme agitation, abnormal to fast heart rates and collapse.

All of these ingestions can be potentially fatal so it is crucial your pet is seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible so immediate treatments can be instituted. Also, keep your bags zippered closed at all times as well as storing them on shelves out of your pets reach. Please call us at Eagle Animal Hospital if you have any questions about the aforementioned. We serve Chester Springs, Exton, Downingtown and Glenmoore.


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  • "As always, our cat Jasper received excellent care from the doctors and staff at Eagle Animal Hospital. His dental injury was assessed and treated quickly and expertly. Thank you for all that you do to keep our furry friends healthy and happy!"
    Valerie C.