Top Pet Toxins
There are several foods and drugs that are safe for people but dangerous to pets. We have to keep in mind that each species detoxifies substances in unique ways.
-Xylitol- a sugar substitute that is used in some sugar free gum products, baking goods, toothpastes, etc causes blood glucose levels to get dangerously low which can lead to seizures and collapse and in higher doses can cause liver failure in dogs. Check labels of all products before bringing these into your home if you have pets.
-Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory that people commonly use. Pets are very sensitive to these medications and can develop stomach ulcers and kidney damage. If your pet is in pain please seek veterinary care as human over the counter medications are not safe for pets. Even nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) that are labeled for dogs and cats still must be used cautiously under guidance of a veterinarian due to possible side effects.
-Acetaminophen (tylenol). This medication is about 10 times more toxic to cats than dogs. It can cause liver failure and damage to red blood cells.
-Grapes and raisins. This toxicity in dogs is not well understood. Some dogs will experience kidney failure while others do not seem to be affected. It is best to avoid these fruits.
-Onions and garlic. In minute quantities these are usually not a problem however depending on the dose it causes anemia which often requires a blood transfusion.
-Vitamin D or calcium supplements. Increased quantities ingested by a pet can cause blood levels of calcium to increase which will cause damage to organs primarily the kidneys.
-Mouse and rat baits. If a rat is attracted to it a pet or small child may be as well. Anticoagulant based baits that have an antidote are not commonly sold anymore and more dangerous baits are now on the market. Rat bait ingestion is a much more serious problem now.
-Chocolate- around holiday time there is often a lot of chocolate around the house. Make sure it is out of reach of pets. Dogs cannot detoxify the toxic component theobromine well. Smaller quantities will cause GI upset and a large dose will cause seizures and death.
If you are unsure if your pet has ingested a possibly toxic substance there is a 24 hour hotline for the pet poison control 888-426-4435