Yearly Archives: 2013

Top Ten Pet Toxins of 2013

Insecticide and laundry detergent led the list of top 10 toxins during 2013, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center reported. In order, the exposures that caused the most reported deaths* during the year were:

1: Permethrin
Permethrin is a common synthetic chemical that is widely used as an insecticide, acaricide, and insect repellent. Despite the fact that APCC did not get reports of dog deaths attributed to permethrin in the past year, it is the overall leading cause of death because so many cat deaths were connected with the chemical. The deaths were mostly because of exposure to dog products.

2: Laundry Detergent
Large exposures to liquid laundry detergent or the new individual detergent packs can cause GI signs and aspiration in dogs and cats. Death is typically due to the severity of the respiratory signs.

3: 5-FU
Exposure to the topically-applied chemotherapeutic agent 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) can cause severe GI upset, seizures, cardiac arrest and bone marrow suppression. Seizures are the most common cause of death, and they are refractory to even aggressive treatment.

4: ‘Hot’ Carbamates
These insecticides include aldicarb and methomyl. Aldicarb is illegal in the United States, but we will see individuals who illegal import it from other countries. Many cases die acutely, and it is common to see these cases die on the way to the vet hospital.

5: Ivermectin
Severe cases involving this antiparasitic medication typically involve inappropriate use of large animal products in cats and dogs.

6: Hops
Severe hyperthermia and then death can be seen very quickly after ingestion of hops, or humulus lupulus. Hops, commonly used in beer brewing, is a flowering plant native to North America.

Deaths from these exposures are typically seen when pet owners wait to seek treatment until the pet is already in acute renal failure – or if there is a large exposure to ibuprofen and the CNS signs (depression, coma, etc.) that can’t be reversed with naloxone.

8: Caffeine
Products containing caffeine, such as caffeine pills, can cause severe CNS and CV stimulation and hyperthemia that can be very difficult to treat, even with aggressive care.

9: Anticoagulant Rodenticides
Death is common when owners don’t seek treatment until the pet is already showing advanced signs of coagulopathy.

10: Alpha Lipoic Acid & Fluoroquinolones
The antioxidant alpha lipoic acid has gained popularity for human use, but ingestion of the supplement by animals can lead to hepatotoxicity, hypoglycemia, and CNS signs. High doses of broad-spectrum antibiotics fluoroquinolones can cause severe CNS signs, such as seizures.

*This list is based on reported deaths to APCC; sometimes a pet death, especially at home, may go unreported. The APCC does follow-up calls about some products, such as permethrin or methomyl products, so there may be a reporting bias.

The Anti-Dogfighting Task Force

CPAA’s Anti-Dogfighting Task Force was created in November Anti-Dogfighting Task Force PSA2009 to address the brutal practice of dogfighting that occurs in the City of Harrisburg and in central PA every day.

In April 2010, after hearing testimony from Humane Society Police Officer Ronald Hollister and Deputy District Attorney for Allegheny County Deb Jugan, Harrisburg City Council issued a Resolution finding that dog fighting was prevalent in the City of Harrisburg and urging the Harrisburg City Police Force to proactively address this crime.

CPAA has a tip line at 717-732-0611 – or send an email to – where individuals may leave confidential information concerning suspicions of or information about actual dog fighting.

For more information, go to:

Pets, Candy and Xylitol

FDA Warns Pet Owners on the Dangers of Xylitol Ingestion in Dogs and Ferrets

The Food and Drug Administration is cautioning consumers about the risks associated with the accidental consumption of xylitol by dogs and ferrets. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol approved for use in many common products, including sugar-free baked goods, candy, oral hygiene products, and chewing gum.

Xylitol can be found in many over-the-counter drugs such as chewable vitamins and throat lozenges and sprays. It can also be purchased in bulk bags for use in home baking. These products are intended only for human use.

FDA is aware of complaints involving dogs that experienced illness associated with the accidental consumption of xylitol. Xylitol is safe for humans but it can be harmful to dogs and ferrets.

FDA is advising consumers to always read the label on products and to not presume that a product that is safe for humans is safe for your pet.

The FDA reports included clinical signs such as a sudden drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), seizures and liver failure. If you suspect your pet has ingested xylitol, some signs to look for are depression, loss of coordination and vomiting. The signs of illness may occur within minutes to days of ingesting xylitol. Owners should consult their veterinarian or pet poison control center immediately for advice if they know or suspect that their pet has ingested a human product containing xylitol.

Small Furry Animals

Shippensburg Animal Hospital welcomes all kinds of pets. We have incubators, a rigid endoscope, magnifying “loupes” for doing small animal surgery and all kinds of special equipment to help give our littlest friends the care they need.

We perform both routine spay and neuter procedures as well as lump removals, dental procedures, emergency surgeries, and other special procedures for rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, and many other species of exotic animals.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

Report Animal Cruelty in Shippensburg

Report Cruelty

Better Days Animal League has a Humane Society Officer who is able to enforce the laws of the State of Pennsylvania regarding animal abuse and neglect under Pennsylvania state crimes code Title 18 Sec. 5511 in Franklin, Cumberland, and Fulton Counties.


Click here to report cruelty.