It’s the holiday season! This is normally a happy time for most people and their pets, except dangers are lurking everywhere if you’re not careful. The top 10 scary dog toxins can harm your pet very quickly. Be sure to watch for these toxins to prevent any accidents from happening to your pet. If your dog ingests any of these, it is best to call the Pet Poison Helpline or bring your pet to an emergency vet as soon as possible.
This first of the top 10 scary dog toxins is typically well known by most people. Although rarely fatal, significant amounts of chocolate can result in illness. Theobromine as well as caffeine is what makes chocolate toxic to dogs. They are both diuretic and heart stimulants that work similarly in people, except dogs do not metabolize these chemicals as well as a human. The more bitter the chocolate, such as baking and dark chocolate, the more toxic it is to your dog. Dogs rarely get sick from milk or white chocolate, as the theobromine is much less concentrated.
2. Mouse and rat poison
Three of the most common types of rat poison are toxic to dogs: cholecalciferol, bromethalin, and anticoagulant rodenticides. All of these chemicals cause extreme reactions in dogs almost immediately. Cholecalciferol raises calcium and phosphorous levels causing kidney failure. Bromethalin causes brain swelling. Anticoagulants cause uncontrollable bleeding. Some of the signs of these include increased drinking and urinating, lethargy, bruising, paralysis, and muscle tremors. If your dog has ingested rat poison, it is an extreme emergency. Always make sure to get them to the vet as soon as possible so they can induce vomiting if possible. Other treatments include IV fluids, Vitamin K( to encourage clotting) and activated charcoal(to bind with the poison and be excreted.
3. anti-inflammatory medications
Common over-the-counter human medications can be very harmful to dogs. Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDS) can be harmful to dogs. These drugs reduce inflammation, but they also reduce the chemical processes required for kidney, liver, gastrointestinal, and blood-clotting functions. Ibuprofen is absorbed into the liver and instead of being removed from the body, it is repeatedly released into the bloodstream causing internal organ issues. Ibuprofen toxicity is one of the most common calls to the Pet Poison Helpline, so be sure to call or check with your vet if you suspect your dog ingested these or any of the top 10 scary dog toxins.
Used most often as a sugar substitute, xylitol is increasingly common in foods and drinks today. It’s used in many products to keep them “sugar-free,” such as gum, candies, peanut butter, cough syrup, mouthwash, and toothpaste. The most common one dog owners need to be aware of is peanut butter, as this is often used as a treat for dogs and a filler in dog toys. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs in even small amounts causing liver failure, hypoglycemia, seizures, and even death in dogs. If you suspect Xylitol ingestion, do not induce vomiting as this could make any hypoglycemia worse. Get your dog to an emergency vet immediately.
5. Grapes and raisins
Grapes and raisins are tricky in dogs. Only a few dogs have a reaction to grapes or raisins, and the cause is mostly unknown. In experiments, the condition has not been able to be reproduced with certainty. The only solid evidence we have is raisin extracts cause damage to canine kidney cells when in vitro. Of the top 10 scary dog toxins, this one is very confusing since it randomly causes reactions in some dogs but not others. Within 6-12 hours of ingesting grapes or raisins, a dog will develop vomiting and/or diarrhea. This can result in renal failure rather quickly.
Human antidepressants are all toxic to dogs. Some of these are extremely dangerous as they affect the heart and central nervous system almost immediately and need treatment right away. The symptoms of antidepressant ingestion are vast, so if you notice your pet acting strange and antidepressants are in the house, consider this a possibility It is important to get your dog to a vet right away to induce vomiting. They will also most likely do a gastrointestinal lavage and an enema.
Another common human drug, acetaminophen is toxic to dogs. The more common in the household, the more likely the top 10 scary dog toxins are to be ingested. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage or decrease the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Symptoms include depressions, rapid breathing, high heart rate, panting, and drooling. The mucous membranes may turn pale or blue. Some dogs develop swelling of the face and forelimbs. If you suspect acetaminophen ingestion, please call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline as soon as possible.
8. vitamin d overdose
Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium. Too much Vitamin D however, can be toxic. Pets can accidentally ingest too much Vitamin D if they eat rodenticides(cholecalciferol-another one of the top 10 scary dog toxins) or supplements containing Vitamin D. Watch your pet for increased drinking and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. This is a medical emergency so be sure to get your dog in to see an emergency veterinarian as soon as possible.
9. stimulant medications
Stimulant medications are often prescribed to humans to treat attention deficit disorders. One of the most common is methylphenidate(Ritalin.) Occasionally this is used to treat certain diseases in dogs such as narcolepsy, and forms of hyperactivity in dogs, but most vets prefer other medications with less side effects. Methylphenidate toxicity is similar to other amphetamines both legal and illegal. The symptoms are similar to a lot of toxicity, so known accidental overdose is the major indicator. Most treatment includes activated charcoal to bind any medication left in the GI tract and IV fluids to support and hydrate.
Effects of fertilizer poisoning can range greatly in dogs. From oral burns and stomach irritation to vomiting and trouble breathing, the effects of fertilizer in dogs are vast. Besides the actual herbicides or fungicides, the iron, nitrogen, and phosphorous compounds are toxic in high dosages. If you suspect your dog got into fertilizer, it’s best to take them to the vet immediately.
Most of the top 10 scary dog toxins are an extreme medical emergency if your dog becomes in contact with them! Always be sure to know where your local emergency vet is and to have the Pet Poison Helpline number for immediate assistance. Also consider taking a basic Pet First Aid course from Buckaroos 360 Dog care or any place local to you that offers these. They can make the difference between life and death in your pet. What other first aid tips would you like to know about?