Take a moment to celebrate because this week is National Animal Poison Prevention Week. Poison prevention week is dedicated to spreading awareness of pet poisoning while informing pet owners about the various poisons that can be harmful to dogs and cats. We hope this will help you protect your pet from ingesting toxins that can cause serious illnesses or death. Continue reading for more information regarding cat and dog toxins you should avoid as a pet parent.
5 Dog Toxins to Avoid
Although there are times when our fur buddies want to eat what we eat, there are many foods with harmful toxins that you should avoid feeding your dog. Chocolate, xylitol, raisins, and grapes are amongst those foods. When it comes to chocolate, certain types contain the chemical theobromine, making it extremely toxic to dogs. The danger levels of the chocolate can be determined by how concentrated it is, its darkness, and its bitterness. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener commonly found in a wide range of sugarless gums and candies that can be harmful to dogs when ingested. Xylitol toxicity can cause liver failure or a sudden and dangerous drop in your dog’s blood sugar levels. Although they’re often overlooked, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in even small amounts. Even though not all dogs are prone to illness with grape or raisin ingestion, the risk of severe kidney disease is one you should not take with your dog.
Various forms of insecticides and pesticides, including sprays, bait stations, and spot-on flea/tick treatments, are harmful toxins that should be kept away from your dog. Even when ingested in small amounts, insecticides and pesticides can have life-threatening consequences for your dog, especially if the products contain organophosphates. If you are considering purchasing an over-the-counter flea/tick prevention, please consult with us first to ensure you are giving your pet a safe medication.
- Mouse and Rat Poison
Mouse and rat poisons contain many chemicals and active ingredients that make them a potential poison for dogs. Different ingredients can affect your dog in different ways. Your dog can experience internal bleeding, brain swelling, kidney failure, vomiting, and bloating depending on the poison ingested. There’s also the risk of relay toxicity in mouse and rat poisons, resulting in pets and wildlife being poisoned from eating dead rodents poisoned by rodenticides.
- NSAID Human Drugs
Human non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen can be extremely harmful to dogs if ingested, resulting in stomach and intestinal ulcers along with potential kidney failure. NSAIDs should never be given to dogs without consulting one of our veterinarians or the Pet Poison Helpline.
- Household Cleaners
Common household cleaners, including sprays, detergents, and polishes, can be harmful to your dog and cause severe reactions. It’s best to keep household cleaners away from your dog to ensure their health and safety, especially strong acidic or alkaline cleaners.
5 Cat Toxins to Avoid
- Topical Spot-on Insecticides
Often poisoning in cats can occur when they’re given insecticides made for dogs that are incredibly toxic for cats or when licking the medication off of dogs. There are some over-the-counter preventatives that have also been linked to severe reactions in cats even though they are labeled for use in cats. To keep your cat from suffering severe drooling, tremors, and life-threatening seizures, avoid giving your cat concentrated topical flea and tick medications with pyrethrins or pyrethroids. Please consult with one of our veterinarians before applying any flea/tick preventatives to your cat.
- Household Cleaners
Household cleaners such as toilet bowl cleaners and drain cleaners can be toxic to cats, so it’s important to carefully use, store, and dispose of them, protecting your cat’s safety and health. Ingestion of household cleaners can result in profuse drooling, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and chemical burns to your cat’s mouth and esophagus.
Cats can safely take a number of antidepressants under the direction of a veterinarian. Some antidepressants, however, can be poisonous to cats. If ingested, your cat can suffer from anorexia, lethargy, vomiting, tremors, seizures, hyperthermia, and diarrhea.
- Poisonous plants
Cats love to chew on plants and leaves! When it comes to plants, you should keep lilies away from your cat at all costs. Lilies are one of the deadliest plants for cats. Ingesting small amounts of lily petals, leaves, or pollen can cause severe and potentially irreversible kidney failure. Other common plants that can make your feline friend ill include Azaleas, Rhododendron, tulip bulbs, and Chrysanthemums (mums).
- Human and Veterinary NSAIDs
NSAIDs can be fatal to cats because of their inability to metabolize the drugs. Ingestion of NSAIDS can cause severe kidney failure and stomach ulcers in your cat. If ingestion is left untreated, your cat can suffer from severe anemia, difficulty breathing, a swollen face, liver failure, and even death. There are cat specific NSAIDs that are safe for your kitty. Only these should be administered to your cat and only under the direction of one of our veterinarians.
If your pet has ingested or may have ingested any toxin, this is a medical emergency! Please call us immediately to have your pet seen by one of our veterinarians. We may need to call Animal Poison Control, so we request that you bring any packaging that came along with the toxin. This will enable them to give all the pertinent information Animal Poison Control needs to properly advise our veterinarian on how to proceed with the treatment of your pet.
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!