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Household Toxins

10 Common Household Pet Poisons

  1. Chocolate – toxicity is dependent on type of chocolate (dark chocolate is more potent than milk chocolate) and pet’s weight. Can cause hyperactivity, vomiting, arrhythmias, seizures, and death

  1. Onions – large enough quantities lead to drooling, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and anemia

  1. Garlic – similar signs to onions but 5x more potent

  1. Raisins/Grapes/Currants – vomiting, inappetance, kidney failure

  1. Antifreeze – kidney failure, death within 36-72 hours of ingestion. Rapid, aggressive therapy is required

  1. Raw Dough – can lead to bloat or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV – stomach flips over) when the dough expands within the stomach. Veterinary intervention is required if symptoms develop (retching, distended stomach, weakness)

  1. Tylenol – more severe in cats, brown gums, black-tarry stool, liver failure, stomach ulcers, death

  1. Sugar-Free Gum – xylitol causes a severe decrease in blood sugar and acute liver failure. Each gum has different levels of xylitol with some causing death with ingestion of only 1 piece depending on the size of pet

  1. Rat Poison – weakness, pale gums, bruising, seizures, coma, death. Some brands cause pets to bleed internally which is fatal if not treated. Other brands cause neurologic damage with no current cure other than supportive care if seizures develop

  1. NSAIDs – whether over-the-counter or prescribed by veterinarians, NSAIDs must be used with care. All human NSAIDs should be avoided. Toxicity can cause vomiting, stomach ulcers, seizures, and death. Your pet should not be started on pain medication without the instruction of a veterinarian (this includes aspirin)

Veterinary care is required for ingestion of these substances. Many times blood work, detoxification, and aggressive IV fluid therapy is warranted depending on type and dose of substance. If you suspect your dog or cat has eaten anything toxic, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) for treatment recommendations as soon as possible.


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