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  • Writer's pictureColleen O'Brien, DVM, CVA

Do You Know These Common Pet Poisons?

Things that are toxic for pets
Common items that are toxic to pets

Certain things that are good for humans can be dangerous and even toxic to pets – leading to a variety of health problems. Protect your dog or cat by not letting them get their paws on these dangerous foods.

Here are the most common toxicity cases I see.

1. Acetaminophen / Tylenol: This medication is starting to be used in veterinary medicine but it has such a narrow tolerance range that it should never be used without direct veterinary supervision. Dosing this wrong could lead to liver failure.

2. Baking Powder: Beware homemade treats. If they have too much baking powder in them, they can cause dangerously low levels of chloride.

3. Bufo Toads: You probably won't see this one unless you live in Florida. If your pet catches one of these, the best you can hope for is severe nausea. Although, more often, they are deadly. Rinse your pet’s mouth immediately if they lick one of these guys.

4. Chocolate: I am always prepared for this one around Halloween. Symptoms can range from an upset stomach to heart issues.

5. NSAIDS/ Deramaxx/ Rimadyl: We use these medications every day and at their prescribed dose they are safe. However, sometimes pets do silly things and like to eat all of their pills. A small amount can cause an upset stomach, but higher doses can cause ulcers or even kidney failure.

6. Grapes/Raisins: Healthy for us, not so much for our pets. This one is especially tough because the toxicity range is so varied. This fruit can cause kidney failure.

7. Nicotine: It’s not good for us or our pets. If your pet eats enough cigarettes or cigarette butts, it could lead to death.

8. Permethrin/ Pyrethrin: Flea products with this work great for dogs, but not so much for cats. Read labels carefully before applying any product.

9. Rat Poison: There are 3 types of rat poison, one that causes bleeding, one that causes seizures, and one that affects the kidneys. Always keep these products and any potentially exposed rodents away from your pets.

10. Xylitol: Sugar free gum may be great low calories for us, but it causes our pets blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels.

If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, please call (888) 426-4435. This is Pet Poison Control. They will give you a case number that your veterinarian can then use to make sure your pet receives the best treatment possible.


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