London, England United Kingdom (PressExposure) November 20, 2008 -- M&S Money has urged pet owners to ensure medication is securely stored around the house following a large increase in reports of pet poisonings.
The potentially fatal mishap is a growing problem across the UK, with a 34% year-on-year increase in reported cases to Vetfone - a 24-hour advice line available to M&S Pet Insurance customers. Vetfone is manned by qualified veterinary nurses who can give concerned animal lovers immediate advice on a petâs condition. Around 70% of calls to the service by M&S Money customers are made out of normal veterinary hours.
One of the major increases of poisonings seen involves nicotine-based products, including nicotine patches, chewing gum and inhalers.
The toxic dose of nicotine in dogs is five milligrams per pound pet bodyweight and a dose of 10mg/lb can be lethal. While a cigarette contains 15-25 milligrams of nicotine, nicotine patches can contain much more at between 8-114 milligrams of nicotine and even nicotine inhalers contain around 10 milligrams of nicotine. Signs of toxicity are dose-dependent and include tremors, weakness, depression and vomiting.
Vetfone Operations Manager & Senior Emergency Vet Nurse, Louise OâDwyer, said: "It is very concerning that there has been such a large increase in reported pet poisonings.
"Nicotine poisoning can be particularly serious. Remember prevention is better than cure, so ensure products such as cigarettes, nicotine patches and gums and even ashtrays containing cigarette butts are kept away from your pets reach."
M&S Money Insurance Manager, Judith Roberts, said: "Anyone who suspects that their pet has swallowed household medication should first try and identify whatâs been eaten, by recovering packaging such as blister packs or boxes and then seek immediate veterinary advice.
"M&S Pet Insurance policyholders can rest assured that a qualified veterinary expert is available round the clock to provide advice and answer questions should a pet become unwell."
For further information and to request a case study please call the M&S Money press office: Simon Coughlin Media Relations Manager Group Comms Level 41 HSBC 8 Canada Square London E14 5HQ. 01244 6686174 www6.marksandspencer.com