Drugs, treats, and poison control
Drugs, treats, and poison control – three questions from the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study years one and two owner survey explained
Question #42 is centered on over-the-counter (OTC) medications including antihistamines and gastrointestinal protectants such as Pepcid or Tagamet. Many veterinarians prescribe OTC medication for their patients, since these drugs usually are much less expensive than comparable prescription drugs. They’re also easy to buy, and many of the medications are commonly found in our drug cabinets at home. Answers to this question will give us a snapshot of what types of OTC drugs dog owners use most frequently, and indirectly provide some valuable but currently unknown data on the frequency and type of OTC drugs recommended by veterinarians.
Question #69 asks owners if they use food treats to administer medications. Besides providing a unique look at whether this strategy is common and successful for owners, the question provides insight on supplemental sources of calories. Question #69 also is an indirect way of monitoring if a dog is getting medication, and does this answer change over time.
Question #85 is a multi-part question that asks owners if they have ever had to call poison control or their veterinarian because of a potential toxin exposure. The nature of the exposure is requested, and owners are asked to indicate if their dog made a visit to their veterinarian or emergency room. We expect this number to be high in a population of young dogs who tend to get into everything. Studies released by the largest national animal poison control reports that about 75 percent of the calls they receive involve dogs under 5 years old. As of this date, 8 percent of study members (including two participant dogs owned by staff members right here at Morris Animal Foundation!) have answered yes to this question. We’re happy to report no serious problems to date, but this number emphasizes that all dog owners, especially those with young dogs, need to be vigilant about potential toxin exposures in their pets.
If you suspect a toxin exposure, call your veterinarian. Another great resource is animal poison hotlines. Their focus on animals has made them invaluable resources in cases of toxin exposure, and their websites are excellent sources of information.
Poison Control numbers:
Animal Poison Control Center of the ASPCA 1-888-426-4435
Pet Poison Helpline 1-855-764-7661
Each month, we explain a few questions from the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study questionnaire.