Keeping Posted on Poisons

To prevent an accidental pet poisoning, knowledge is your lifeline

Human medications are the most common poison related problem.  Every year the ASPCA receives thousands of calls about pets ingesting drugs for people.  The most common culprits are listed below and pose big risks in small doses.

                                                                 Cold meds
                                                                 Diet pills

Just one extra strength acetaminophen can be deadly to a cat.  It only takes 4 regular strength ibuprofen to cause serious kidney problems in a small dog.

Rodenticides – Not a better mousetrap for pets
Depending on the type, ingestion can lead to life threatening problems including bleeding, seizures, or damage to kidneys and other vital organs.  The most dangerous are Rat, Mouse and Gopher baits.

Grapes and Raisins
These two foods appear to cause renal failure in dogs if ingested in large amounts, but there are still unknowns.  The toxic component is unclear as to why only certain dogs are affected.  It’s not known if small repeat ingestions over time are hazardous and can lead to the same effects as a large one time consumption.
Also harmful are avocado, tea, macadamia nuts, onions, salt, alcoholic beverages, coffee and garlic.

The sweetener Xylitol is not so sweet
Dogs that ingest foods and products containing the sweetener Xylitol develop a sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures, even liver failure.  Do not allow your dog to ingest these items:
                                                                   Chewing gum
                                                                   Hard candy
                                                                   Gum drops
                                                                   Baked goods

                                            10 Poison Prevention Tips
 1. Never give any meds to your pet without direction from a vet.
 2. Store meds, household cleaners, pesticides, chemicals, foods and sweets in a cabinet above the counter.
 3. When using pesticides, keep pets away from the area of application for the amount of time recommended in the instructions for use.  These can be absorbed through the  paws if not allowed to dry properly.
 4. Never use any product not specifically formulated for pets…dog or cat.
 5. Consult with a vet before beginning any flea & tick program.  Some pets are sensitive to certain insecticides.
 6. When cleaning your pet's crate or habitat, use a mild soap such as liquid dish detergent with hot water rather than harsh chemicals.
 7. Always read the label first and follow instructions exactly for safe use, storage and disposal of products.
 8. Do not give chocolate, candy, grapes or raisins as a treat in any amount.
 9. Discourage animals from nibbling on any variety of plant, as even non toxic plants can cause stomach upset.
10. Get more info and a free Poison Control Center reminder magnet at

24 hour emergency vet poison hotline 888 426 4435


Chocolate - the dark side for pets
Depending on the variety, chocolate contains high amounts of fat and caffeine like substances called methylxanthines.  The darker the chocolate, the greater the risk.  Baking chocolate contains the highest amount of this and the potential risks of ingesting are: vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity.  The darker the chocolate, the greater the risk.  In severe cases, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures, even death.

Houshold Cleaners
A wide variety of everyday household cleaners like disinfectants, detergents, bleach,  cleansers can pose a risk.  Taking a few minutes to read a label could save your pet’s life.  Depending on the type of exposure, some household cleaners can lead to stomach irritation or even burns in the mouth.  If inhaled, irritation in the lungs may occur.

Home Improvement Products
Products commonly used for construction and home improvement cause irritation to the skin, eyes and intestinal tract, central nervous system depression, and pneumonia if inhaled.
                  Expanding glues – form a life threatening stomach obstruction
                  Sealants and finishes
                  Oil-based paint can cause stomach upset

Volatile petroleum based products, alcohols, acids and other corrosives are the cause of many animal poisonings each year.
                                                    Ethylene glycol antifreeze
                                                    Drain cleaners
                                                    Pool chemicals
                                                    Ice melting products

Products used to eliminate pesky bugs on your pet or inside/outside of your home can sicken or kill animals, if not used safely.
                                                   Flea & tick products
                                                   Insecticidal sprays, liquids and granules
                                                   Insect repellents
                                                  Agricultural products

Lilies – highly toxic to cats; even small amounts can produce kidney failure
Sago Palm
What could one little nut hurt?  The puncture and ingestion of just one Sago Palm nut causes vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures, liver failure and possibly death.


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