Companion Animal Hazard Alert
You know not to eat those paper or plastic packets often found in shoe
boxes, bottles of medication and vitamins and some food items -- but
your pet doesn't.
Used to absorb moisture, the packets contain silica gel,
which is considered chemically and biologically inert upon ingestion.
However, reports Jill A. Richardson, DVM, of the ASPCA Animal Poison
Control Center (APCC), gastrointestinal upset *has* been seen in dogs
and cats who have accidentally eaten one of these packets. Symptoms
include nausea, vomiting and lack of appetite.
There can be additional harmful effects, particularly if
the packet was used for medication. "Silica acts as a dessicant and can
absorb qualities of a medicine when it's in a medicine bottle," explains
Richardson. "So, for example, if your dog ate a silica gel pack that
came out of your heart medication, the silica could absorb the qualities
of the heart medication and cause similar adverse effects." Companion
animal caretakers should be extra careful to keep these packets out of
their pet's reach.
In addition to offering poison/first aid information
http://www.napcc.aspca.org, the APCC also runs an emergency hotline --
1-888-4-ANI-HELP--that provides round-the-clock telephone assistance.
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