Some tragedies we never forget. More than fifteen years ago, I had a client, Anna, with a sweet Siamese cat named Peacock. One day, Peacock stopped eating. The next day, she started to vomit, over and over again. When I saw her, blood chemistry analysis revealed severe acute kidney injury, and she passed away the same day. Anna had just gotten a bouquet of lilies a few days prior, and Peacock had gotten some of that orange-brown pollen on her fur and eaten it while grooming herself. The lilies caused her kidney failure.
Would Peacock have lived a longer life if Anna had known that lilies were terribly toxic to cats? Absolutely.
Relying on veterinarians to educate pet owners about possible toxins is a horrible system, but it is the one we have.
Do you really remember what your veterinarian told you about any particular flower, or which ingredient in chewing gum could kill dogs, or what species of palm tree causes liver failure in dogs? Do you remember what you read on their website or Facebook page? Don't get me wrong - I support my fellow veterinarians in their efforts to help pet owners, whether that is in the exam room, talking to schoolchildren, or posting on social media. As pet health professionals, we are all doing the best we can.
But the dogs and cats of America (and their owners) need something different. For their sake, we have to stop "warning" owners after the fact, and educating them before they have to go into the ER!
This problem has bothered me for the last 20 years, and only recently have I figured out that the Internet is the perfect way to bring concerned pet owners together in a large enough group to actually make change happen. I learned a long time ago that companies will not do the right thing just because it's the right thing to do. There needs to be some sort of incentive, and we all know what that means - money. Imagine, if the concerned public came together as a group, and hundreds of thousands of us combine our buying power to support companies that do the right thing...
The changes we can make!
My name is Mike LoSasso, and I've been a practicing veterinarian in north Texas since 1993. I've seen lots of tragedies over the years, many made even more tragic because they were preventable. Please, join with me and other pet owners, to make some noise and reduce the incidence of pet poisoning. Together, we can really make a difference.