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Companion animal exposures to potentially poisonous substances reported to a national poison control center in the United States in 2005 through 2014

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  • 1 Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate data concerning suspected companion animal exposures to possibly hazardous substances reported during telephone calls to the US Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) for characterization of dog and cat exposures to potentially toxic substances in the United States.

SAMPLE

Household-level poisonings events involving dogs and cats in the United States that were reported to the APCC in 2005 through 2014.

PROCEDURES

Substances involved in reported poisonings of dogs and cats were classified into 20 general categories, and descriptive statistical analysis was used to examine the most common categories. Case fatality ratios were estimated for all exposure categories for which a final outcome status of the affected animal was documented.

RESULTS

Over the 10-year study period, 241,261 household-level poisoning events were reported to the APCC from across the United States, of which 86.0% and 14.0% involved dogs and cats, respectively. The most common agent categories reported for dogs included human medicines, foods, and pesticides. The most common agent categories reported for cats included human medicines, plants, and veterinary medicines. Chocolate and Lilium plants were the most commonly reported exposures of dogs and cats, respectively. Fluorouracil (65.2%) and bifenthrin (66.7%) were found to have the highest case fatality ratio for dogs and cats, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The APCC call data can be used to identify the most common toxicological exposures of dogs and cats, understand the epidemiological aspects of these poisonings, and inform education programs for owners and veterinarians. Data from the APCC may be suitable for surveillance of toxicological exposures of companion animals in the United States.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate data concerning suspected companion animal exposures to possibly hazardous substances reported during telephone calls to the US Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) for characterization of dog and cat exposures to potentially toxic substances in the United States.

SAMPLE

Household-level poisonings events involving dogs and cats in the United States that were reported to the APCC in 2005 through 2014.

PROCEDURES

Substances involved in reported poisonings of dogs and cats were classified into 20 general categories, and descriptive statistical analysis was used to examine the most common categories. Case fatality ratios were estimated for all exposure categories for which a final outcome status of the affected animal was documented.

RESULTS

Over the 10-year study period, 241,261 household-level poisoning events were reported to the APCC from across the United States, of which 86.0% and 14.0% involved dogs and cats, respectively. The most common agent categories reported for dogs included human medicines, foods, and pesticides. The most common agent categories reported for cats included human medicines, plants, and veterinary medicines. Chocolate and Lilium plants were the most commonly reported exposures of dogs and cats, respectively. Fluorouracil (65.2%) and bifenthrin (66.7%) were found to have the highest case fatality ratio for dogs and cats, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The APCC call data can be used to identify the most common toxicological exposures of dogs and cats, understand the epidemiological aspects of these poisonings, and inform education programs for owners and veterinarians. Data from the APCC may be suitable for surveillance of toxicological exposures of companion animals in the United States.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Ms. Swirski (aswirski@uoguelph.ca).