12 Toxins That Will Kill Your Pets

After attending the Spring Pet First Aide Class presented by Veterinary Northwest Specialist Sunday, I wanted to share with all pet owners poisons that will kill your pets if not identified and treated quickly.  While there aren’t cures for poisoning there are things that can be done to treat and minimize the damage.

Spring begins March 20th and as we launch into sunnier days and warmer temperatures be aware of dangers lurking out there.  Knowledge and prevention is the best line of defense so educate yourself and avoid heartache and expensive pet hospitalization.

I know you probably are annoyed by slugs eating your plants and fruit but better to let nature take its course than to change nature by spreading slug bait.  Even coffee ground mulch although will deter the slugs is toxic to your dog or cats.  Cats are less likely to eat it but we all know that dogs have there noses on the ground and some of them will eat anything if your not watching.

20140220_192957 (1)For more information about poisons refer to APSCA.

Slug & Snail Bait – Metaldehyde
Clinical Signs within 1 Hour:  Vomiting, drooling,tremors, diarrhea, high temperate (above 104) elevated heart rate and convulsions.
Treatment:Activated charcoal, IV fluids and hospitalize, muscle relaxants.
Antifreeze – Ethylene Glycol
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, Nausea, weakness
Treatment:  Get To Veterinary Hospital Immediately, Antidote must be given within 8 hours of ingestion.
Pyrethrins – Flea products placed on cats that are labeled “for use on dogs-only”
Clinical Signs – Tremors, Twitching & Drooling
Treatment: – Wash you cat with Dawn Dish Soap or other mild dish soap, wrap her/him in a towel and transport to Veterinary Clinic.
D-Con – Anticoagulant Rodenticides/Kills mice and rates
Clinical Signs:  Bleeding from mouth, nose, anus or vulva
Treatment:  GI Decontamination, Vitamin K, Blood Transfusion, IV Fluid Support and hospitalization may be required.
Antidepressants/Serotonin Syndrome – Pacific Northwest has the highest occurrence in the nation for pets ingesting antidepressants!
Clinical Signs:  Loss of coordination, vomiting, difficulty breathing, drooling, seizures, arrhythmia, tremors. These can progress to coma and death within a few hours.
Treatment:  Fluids, hospitalization and medication for seizures.
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain
Treatment:  IV Fluids, hospitalization and if kidneys are already affected possibly dialysis.
Xylitol – Sugar Substitute. Check the labels on your foods for example: packages Jell-o pudding, chewing gum.
Clinical Signs:  Hypoglycemia, vomiting, weakness, tremors, seizures
Treatment: IV Fluids, Charcoal and GI meds.
Acetaminophen/Ibuprofen (CATS ESPECIALLY!)
Clinical Signs:  Vomiting, depression, bloody stool facial or paw swelling, blue or brown gums, seizures
Treatment: Fluids, Charcoal, Medications to support and protect liver, kidneys and red blood cells.
Methylxanthines (Theobromine,Caffeine)  Chocolate, the darker the chocolate the higher the toxicity level.
Clinical Signs:  Vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures and abnormal heart rhythm even death.
Treatment:  Fluids, Charcoal and medication  for seizures and arrhythmia’s
Cyanobacteria – “BLUE GREEN ALGEA”  Found in standing water, ponds.  Death within 45 minutes to 24 hours. NO ANTIDOTE!
Clinical Signs:  Vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, muscle rigidity, tremors, seizures, paralysis and death.
Treatment:  NO ANTIDOTE!  Rinse off you dog immediately! Prevention is best here, don’t let your dogs swim in stnading water with algea blooms!

Plants: Lilies, Tulips, Castor Bean, Bleeding Heart, Hydrangea, Rhubarb.  For Complete List go to www.aspca.org, “pet care”, “poison”

Zn Phosphide – Mole, gopher and rat bait.
Severe illness, acute liver failure and death in dogs.

  • What should you do if you suspect your pet has ingested a poison?

First you should access their symptoms. Vomiting? Seizures? Drooling? Diarrhea? 

Immediately call ahead to your Veterinary Clinic or Emergency Vet Hospital.  Give them as much information as possible:

  • The species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved.
  • The animal’s symptoms.
  • Information regarding the exposure, including the agent (if known), the amount of the agent involved and the time elapsed since the time of exposure.
  • Have the product container/packaging available for reference.

Transport your pet to the vet! Do Not Delay!

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