Pet care

Insect and animal repellents:

  • Chemicals made to repel domestic animals are most often based on alcohol, ketones, or natural essential oils, the odour of which animals find repellent, often with a mixture of hydrocarbon solvents. These substances are irritants; they may cause nausea, and in higher concentrations can affect consciousness.
  • It is assumed they will not be consumed in large amounts, as they are designed to be unpleasant to the animal.
  • If ingested, the hydrocarbon solvent can often inhibit the activity of nerve tissue, and may lead to loss of consciousness.
  • In giving first aid do not induce vomiting; if the solvent or irritant substances get into the lungs an infection will result. The animal may be given activated charcoal, but its effect is uncertain. Absolutely do not give the animal any kind of fat, and do not give milk to affected animals.

Chemicals against fleas and tics, medicaments:

  • In households there may be a broad spectrum of various medicines that animals can overdose on (medicines intended for that animal), or be poisoned by (medicines intended for people or other animal species). Chemicals against fleas or ticks are also in most cases classified as medicines – so-called anti-parasitic medicines, or in the case of sprays for pet beds, etc. as insecticides. The flea and tick chemicals are often incorrectly used, such as the application of chemicals meant for dogs to cats, rabbits, hedgehogs, etc., which always leads to health damage or death of the animal!
  • The manner of effect of the individual medicines vary widely, therefore we cannot provide precise information here about all the symptoms that may occur. Chemicals against fleas and ticks almost always damage an animal’s nervous and muscular systems.
  • In the case of external application of the medicine, wash the animal with tepid soapy water as quickly as possible. If the chemical applied in a spray was inhaled, then get the animal immediately into fresh air and wash out its eyes, snout, and mouth. In case of ingestion (even by the animal licking itself), first aid consists of inducing vomiting – but only if the animal is caught shortly after the ingestion, and if the animal is fully conscious. We then give the animal a few crushed tablets of activated charcoal, which we dissolve in water, and squirt into the mouth of the animal from a syringe. The dosage of activated charcoal depends on the size of the animal (around 2-5 tablets for a household pet).
  • In the case of poisoning by medicine, the negligence and carelessness of the owner is almost always at fault; therefore prevention must be emphasized: 1) give the animal only medicines intended for that species! 2) thoroughly observe the dosages given on the container or recommended by a veterinarian. 3) store all medicines out of reach of animals; keep them in a dry place – not in the bathroom (risk of moisture reaching the medicine, resulting in breakdown and possible production of toxic substances). 4) watch out for the purses of visitors; nearly every purse contains some tablets of some kind, for example headache medicine, that are very dangerous for dogs and cats.

Cat litter:

  • These products are non-toxic. They usually contain non-poisonous absorptive mineral-based materials – bentonite, essential oils, etc. (or are based on biologically-degradable plant materials – wood by-products, corn kernels, etc.). Products with added scent or substances other than absorbent may produce an allergic reaction, or symptoms such as irritated skin or mucous membrane on contact with the litter.
  • One problem may be the dustiness of the product, which can cause irritated eyes, irritated membranes in the nose and mouth, sneezing, watery eyes, etc.; long-term exposure could result in the development of respiratory tract inflammation.
  • If a larger amount of the product is ingested it could form clumps in the digestive tract and obstruct or completely block up the intestines; in such an event take the animal to a veterinarian.
  • In other cases simply remove the remnants of litter from the animal’s mouth, and irritated points of contact with the skin wash carefully with water. If the animal is allergic to the litter, buy a different one with different composition to avoid the unwanted side effects.

Chemicals for aquarium care:

  • There is a wide variety of these chemicals, with various effects:
  • Chemicals against bacteria and algae are often absorbents, which have no harmful effects and are only local irritants; but many of them are based on herbicides, which are highly toxic substances. Most frequently these are triazine herbicides, which are mainly irritants and damage the mucous membranes and skin. In larger quantities, however, it may cause stomach pains, trembling, convulsions, and poor circulation. Give water as first aid to dilute the substance, and activated charcoal can be tried as well.
  • With chemicals that remove ammonia from water, or adjust the pH, etc. it is very difficult to ascertain the precise composition and define its harmful effects, but in general they consist of, salts, acids, and bases. Most of these substances are local skin irritants, and when ingested may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. First aid consists of giving the animal water to dilute the chemical.