Common Toxins and Poisons
Just like us, animals can be allergic to different products, however, there are some common chemicals and products that are toxic or poisonous to our beloved pets. The single most important thing you can do if your pet eats something you’re unsure of is to get bring them to a vet as soon as possible. It is a very time sensitive issue and the sooner you are able to get them to a vet the better prognosis they will have.
Check out our gallery below for pictures to help you identify these toxins.
Toxic Household Items:
- Aspirin overdose can lead to weakness, going off food, vomiting, anaemia, seizures, commas and potentially death from liver and kidney failure.
- Coolant can cause kidney failure after ingestion. Effects of ingestion can occur as soon as 30mins anywhere up until 3 days after ingestion. Signs of ingestions include vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, depression, seizures, dehydration, coma and death.
- Fly spray, cockroach killer, spider spray, mothballs, and flea product overdoses and overexposure can cause watery eyes, drooling, vomiting, seizures, tremors, weakness, incoordination, breathing problems, and potentially death.
- Nicotine and cigarettes (even just 1) can cause excitement, panting, drooling, twitching, diarrhoea, shallow breathing, collapse, coma and potentially death.
- Paracetamol causes damage to the red blood cells, especially in cats, and can rapidly lead to weakness, coma and potentially death.
- Rat poisons are toxic to all pets. They are slow and secret killers and signs are often not seen until it is too late. Ingestion will lead to your pet’s blood not being able to clot and can bleed out internally or externally. Ensure you use rat poison safely and pets are not indirectly poisoned by eating the remains of poisoned rats.
- Snail and slug bait, all brands are dangerous. Keep all packets locked away from your pets. If you feel you must use it, ensure that your dog does not have access to the garden until all the pellets are dissolved. If snail bait is ingested by your pet, it quickly leads to convulsions and is a medical emergency.
- Chocolate in large quantities can be poisonous, even fatal. Avoid feeding any chocolate products to your pet. Keep it for yourself!
- Grapes, raisins and sultanas can cause kidney failure and the amount of them they eat doesn’t seems to correlate with the severity of signs. Some dogs can seemingly eat a bunch and be unaffected and others have renal damage after eating 2 or 3.
- Macadamia nuts are toxic and can cause weakness, depression, tremors, pain, weakness, and pale gums.
- Onions and garlic causes severe damage to red blood cells in pets within 24-72 hours. You may see pale gums from anaemia, a pounding heart rate, rapid breathing, weakness, pink or red urine, vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Wild mushroom and toadstools are just as toxic to our pets as they can be for us.
- Xylitol - Artificial sweetener, found in many chewing gums and diet products can lead to liver failure and seizures. This is normally seen between 30mins and 12 hours after ingestion.
- Yeast dough makes ethanol when it’s eaten and confined in a stomach. This can rapidly cause bloat, depression, weakness, coma, and even death in severe cases.
- All parts of the Amaryllis are toxic. They cause drooling, vomiting, hypotension, respiratory depression and abdominal discomfort.
- Autumn Crocus is another decorative flower that is toxic if ingested. This can have serious effects on multiple organs and supress bone marrow, therefore veterinary care needs to be seeked immediately.
- Azalea and rhododendron can lead to coma and cardiovascular collapse. Beforehand we can see vomiting, weakness, drooling, and diarrhoea.
- Chrysanthemum can cause seizures in bad cases and will present with drooling, vomiting diarrhoea, loss of coordination and tremors.
- All parts of the cyclamen plant are toxic, however the roots have the highest levels of toxicity. If eaten by your pets veterinary attention needs to be seeked immediately.
- English Ivy can cause severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Hydrangea contains high levels of cyanide and can cause death preceded by vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, shortness of breath and coma.
- Kalanchoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiac arrhythmias.
- Lilies are exceedingly toxic to cats and can lead to renal failure if ingested. They are a lovely gift and look great in the garden, but are very harmful to cats and kittens, so keep them out of reach of cats.
- Marijuana if ingested is toxic to your pets. It can result in effects to the nervous system causing lack in coordination, drowsinesss or excitation, increased heart rate, vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling and in severe cases seizers and coma.
- Oleander is an evergreen shrub with bright flowers that is toxic if any part of the plant is ingested. It causes irritation to the gastrointestinal tract leading to drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea (may have blood present). Severe symptoms include loss of coordination, shallow breathing, muscle tremors, hypothermia and potentially death from abnormal heart function.
- Peace Lily is not as toxic as other lilies, but can still cause drooling, pawing at the mouth, oral pain, decreased appetite and vomiting.
- All parts of Sago Palm is toxic if ingested. The seeds have the highest level of toxicity and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea which may be black or bloody, bruising, yellow tinge to the skin, seizures and liver failure. Veterinary care should be seeked immediately if your pet has ingested sago palm.
- Tulips and Iris can cause severe gastrointestinal upset, weakness, and a drooling.
- Yew is a type of tree which can cause sudden death from acute heart failure. Therefore, if you suspect any part of this tree seek veterinary care immediately.
If you suspect that your pet has eaten any of these products, then seek veterinary attention immediately. We can induce vomiting in many cases or administer antidotes to flush these toxins from the system before the effects become life-threatening. Speed is the key!