Hurricane Season is only one reason to have an Animal Emergency Kit and Plan in place. Winter ice storms cause power outages, summer rainstorms can cause flooding and lightening strikes and tornadoes aren’t unusual either here in North Carolina.
When Hurricane Katrina blew into the Gulf Coast many animals were left behind. Many pet owners stayed behind when rescuers told them no animals allowed. Because of that the US Congress passed a law making it mandatory that emergency shelters have some type of accommodations for pets. It is still a good idea to have a plan in place before disaster hits.
Another common animal emergency is poisoning. Young animals are usually the ones to get into trouble with eating things they shouldn’t but older animals can too. So always make sure that you keep all chemicals on a high shelf in a cabinet that can be closed. If a poisoning does take place call your vet immediately and be prepared to take the animal in to the clinic.
Poisonous Plants: Download a list
Antifreeze: #1 Common Pet Poisoning
The most common and deadly of poisonings in animals is antifreeze. Every year thousands of animals – mostly dogs and cats – are victims of accidental poisoning by automobile antifreeze. A pet does not have to drink a lot of antifreeze to be poisoned. Most brands of commercial antifreeze consist of 95 percent ethylene glycol which has a sweet taste to it. For a medium sized dog, ingestion of about 2 ounces (3-4 tablespoons ) is toxic. For cats, as little as 1/4 of an ounce (1-2 teaspoons) can be lethal. Antifreeze poisoning commonly occurs in spring and fall when fresh antifreeze is added to car radiators. However, poisoning can happen anytime, particularly when a car boils over or when a hose leaks, releasing the antifreeze. This poisoning happens often to animals who are allowed to roam freely in their neighborhoods, but another high risk group are those animals who are confined in garages and who may not always be provided with adequate fresh drinking water. These pets may gain access to improperly or inadequately stored antifreeze or lick spilled or leaked antifreeze off the garage floor. If it is necessary to confine your pet(s) to your garage, make sure antifreeze containers are well secured and your animal has plenty of fresh water.
The best type of antifreeze to buy (if you must have some) is the kind with a bittering agent added. Make sure to look at the labels before buying or call your mechanic for suggestions.