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Common Poisons and Intoxications of Pets
1. Medications for human use:
a. Naproxen (Aleve or Anaprox)—NEVER USE IN PETS, these medications cause severe gastric ulcers, stomach perforations and/or acute kidney failure.
b. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Cold and Flu over the counter medications) —not recommended for dogs or cats, causes severe gastric ulcers and/or acute kidney failure.
c. Aspirin—very toxic in cats, can be used in dogs. Its toxicity is dose dependent and there are better NSAID’s on the market.
d. Tylenol ( Acetaminophen)—very toxic to cats where it decreases oxygen uptake and causes death. Can use in dogs, but is dose dependent.
e. Marijuana (Tetrahydrocannabinol)(THC)—Medicinal or recreational use is not usually fatal and prognosis is fair to good. Hash and Hash oils are more lethal than stems and leaves. When marijuana is mixed with chocolate the chocolate is the more lethal toxin. Chocolate mixed with hash or hash oils greatly increase fatalities. NOTE: All controlled substances used as recreational drugs are extremely fatal to pets.
f. Amphetamines for ADD/ADHD drugs—symptoms are hyperactivity, sedation, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, and death. (Amphetamines are used to make crystal meth and methamphetamines.)
2. Non-Steroidal anti-inflammatory for use in dogs—very toxic to cats. The medications cause acute kidney failure and death.
3. Methylxanthine (contain theobromine and/or caffeine)—these chemicals are found in chocolate and cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, and death.
4. Toad poisoning—some toads along the Gulf Coast secrete a toxin through their skin, causing severe salivation, abnormal heart rate, and death.
5. Metaldyhyde (snail and slug bait)—vomiting and whole body tremors occurring very quickly after ingestion.
6. Antifreeze—a very small amount of spilled or leaked antifreeze causes acute kidney failure. The antifreeze tastes sweet to pets.
7. Rodenticides and Organophosphates:
a. Rodenticides—these products come mostly in pellet form. Even hidden from pets, rodents will carry the pellets into pet areas. Also rodents that ingest the rodenticides will poison pets if the pet eats the rodent.
b. Organophosphates—causes disability of the nerve function. Ingestion can occur orally or through the skin.
8. Plant Poisonings:
a. Cocoa Mulch—used for landscaping causes increase in heart rate, muscle tremors and death.
b. Oleander—severe digestive upset and death. The oleanders are very toxic and are used for outside landscaping, but some household have them for inside plants.
c. Grapes and raisins—Causes acute kidney failure, each animal responses differently, so grapes and raisins should be avoided.
d. Onion family—onions, garlic, leeks and chives are more toxic to cats than dogs, but dogs will eat these herbs before cats. These herbs cause destruction of the red blood cells resulting in anemia, icterus (yellowing of the skin), paleness, increased heart rate and increased respiratory rate. Any amount is unacceptable.
e. Lilies—very toxic to cats, most floral arrangements have lilies which cause kidney failure.
f. Christmas time—mistletoe, holly, daffodils, lilies, and yes the good ole Christmas tree. All are contact irritating, with mistletoe, holly, daffodils, lilies being very toxic. They cause kidney failure.
If there is a concern of ingestion call us during hospital hours or the poison center after hours (there might be a charge).