Q. Which of the following items can be highly toxic to your pet?
A. all of the above
Every year in our clinic we see many cases where we suspect poisoning. While it may seem obvious that you don’t allow your pet near rat poison or slug pellets, all too frequently we will see a few animals who ingest these substances (typically dogs as they can be quite indiscriminate about what they eat).
As dangerous as rat poison can be to pets, at least if someone suspects their dog of eating some they will know to get down to the vet quickly.What is more worrying is many people aren’t aware of the fact that raisins can be highly toxic to dogs. As few as seven raisins have been known to cause fatal kidney failure in dogs. Raisins are palatable to dogs and I am aware of cases where a dogs have died as a result of raiding the shopping or the larder and eating a bag of raisins.
At Christmas time, it is common to be presented with a dog who has stolen and eaten an entire box of chocolates which can make them quite sick. There is a substance in chocolate called theobromine which is toxic for dogs. It is present in higher quantities in dark chocolate and cooking chocolate so be warned – and please don’t give your dog any!
Antifreeze, contains ethylene glycol a substance which causes kidney failure. Unfortunately to dogs and cats it tastes sweet and a very small amount can be fatal. A car leaking a small amount of antifreeze could have tragic consequences for your pet.
We do not usually see as many cats with poisoning as they are fussier eaters, however there are a couple of things cat owners should be aware of. Lillies are toxic to cats and cat owners should avoid them. Occasionally I have seen cats who have been given paracetamol by their owners, obviously out of care that they are in pain. Tragically cats cannot cope with this medicine, it causes liver failure. It is always heart braking when this occurs. The best advice I can give is never to give human medicine to your pet, unless prescribed by a vet. Also please don’t give one pets medicine to another without consulting a vet. Even animal remedies especially pain killers can be very dangerous if an incorrect dose is given.
There are many other items which can be toxic to pets – this article is just a summary of the some of the most common and dangerous ones. I hope it is helpful. Will try to get back to this and add some more details in time!
What you should do if you are concerned your pet has been poisoned?
For most of these poisons their is no antidote available. Therefore time is absolutely crucial – get to a vet clinic or vet hospital as soon as possible. If a pet has recently ingested poisoning we will induce vomiting – hopefully the poison will not have left the stomach and we can clear it from the system before it has a chance to affect your pet. We can also give medicine to try and prevent the poison being absorbed into the system. Blood tests may be needed to check your pets vital organs or screen for toxins.
Do not try to make your pet sick – consult a vet.
Some useful links for dog and cat owners.: