Pets, poison and people pills

(FOX19) - Accidental pet poisonings are on the rise, and some of the most common toxins are medicines their masters take.

That's right – people pills.

As we ingest more medicines for our daily aches, pains and diseases, it turns out our four-legged friends are also finding their way to the pills. The pills have drastic consequences.

Gatsby ingested an entire bottle of prenatal vitamins, Otis ate calcium chews and Foster found his way into both Benadryl and Ibuprofen.

"He had eaten the container and ingested some of the medicine also," says Jessica Merchant, Foster's Owner.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals tells us that the Animal Poison Control Center took more than 180 thousand calls last year about pets getting into poisonous substances. Prescription medicines for humans accounted for the majority of those calls.

"When people take their pills, they drop them on the floor, that little dog is just right there to scoop it up," explains Tina Wismer at the ASPCA Poison Control Center. "So heart medications are number one. Also we have a very high number of animals eating things like antidepressants and ADHD medications."

Over-the-counter medicines also present problems.

"It only takes one extra strength naproxen to kill a Shih Tzu type dog," adds Wismer. "Ibuprofen can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure in dogs and cats and acetaminophen can actually cause the blood to change so it can't carry oxygen and cause liver failure."

Supplements make up more of the scares. They are more popular than ever with people, and now more enticing than ever to animals.

"Companies are constantly making more and more palatable supplements, and the soft gels for example are made from a gelatin which is made from cow hide, which might be attractive to an animal," explains Tod Coopermam of

Dogs are more likely that cats to sniff their way into trouble. Labrador Retrievers lead the way in the canine category.

However, no matter what the breed, how an animal recovers after an accidental poisoning depends on the animal's weights, what kind of medicine it consumed, the medicine's prescription strength and mow much was ingested.

"I don't think the companies are going to make changes to their products to keep them safe from pets but I think people can certainly be more aware that these can cause problems for their pets," adds Cooperman.

Gatsby recovered on his own and Otis ended up with an IV. Foster vomited repeatedly.

How can you protect your precious pet?

"Make sure that they can't get on the counters," says Wismer, "that the medications are kept in locked cabinets or definitely up high so they can't get to them."

Another big toxins for pets are insecticides, both the indoor and outdoor options.

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