Well, my time has come. Somehow, even after working in this profession for a decade, I’ve not had the opportunity to foster a litter of kittens. That all changed this week, when a good samaritan client brought in three kittens she had found in her neighborhood. One of our technicians quickly volunteered to hand-raise the kitties, since the mother was suspected to have passed away. The next day, our good samaritan returned with another three kittens from the same litter, bringing the total to SIX, which is too much work for any one foster parent. I eagerly volunteered my services.
While I’m on vacation with family this week, my pets are safe at home with a trusted petsitter. It’s just not possible to bring all three of them when we travel. Many pet owners are lucky enough, however, to travel with their pets, whether by plane or car. Small dogs and cats can be brought into the cabin of most airplanes, while larger dogs travel in the pressurized baggage compartment of the plane. Frequently, veterinarians are asked to prescribe tranquilizers for animals that are traveling.
Most parents know to call the poison control hotline if their child accidentally ingests medication or a household cleaner. Most pet owners might not know that there is also a poison control hotline specifically for pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is an amazing resource for pet owners and veterinarians alike.
The hotline is staffed by veterinarians, some board-certified, who specialize in toxicology. The ASPCA Poison Control Center has an extensive database of toxic foods, medications and chemicals, and can determine if a toxic amount of a substance was ingested based on an animal’s body weight. When a pet ingests a toxic amount of something poisonous, the ASPCA experts provide us with detailed information about how to potentially prevent toxicosis, by inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal, which can bind toxic ingredients in the GI tract. They then give us invaluable advice about what other treatments and monitoring tests should be performed to keep Fluffy safe.