It could take many articles to discuss all of the common household and yard toxins to pets, but we will try to highlight some of the most common ones. Referring to www.aspca.org/apccor 1-888-426-4911 will
give a more complete overview of toxins for pets. The number is helpful for toxic emergencies in pets that occur any time of day or night. It is a nonprofit organization, but you will be charged a fee with your credit card to cover the expenses
of a 24hr organization. Pet Poison Helpline is also a 24/7 Animal Poison Control Center (1-855-764-7661) with website @petpoisonhelpline.com.
The top 10 toxin calls for cats received by Pet Poison Helpline include lilies, canine flea topicals
containing pyrethroids / pyrethrins, household cleaners, antidepressant meds, rodent poison, ibuprofen/acetaminophen, glow sticks/jewelry, amphetamines (ADD/ADHD drugs), decongestant meds, and essential oils. The top 10 toxin calls for dogs include chocolate,
rodent poison, ibuprofen/acetaminophen, xylitol (found in sugar-free gums and candies), Vitamin D (in large amounts), antidepressant meds, fertilizers, grapes and raisins, decongestant meds, caffeine in pills and drinks.
for cats this time of year is the toxic nature of the Easter Lily. Never
allow a cat to access an Easter Lily. Other very toxic lilies include tiger, day, Asiatic hybrid, etc. Very tiny ingestions of petals, leaves, pollen and vase water
can result in sudden kidney failure.
With the onset of spring, more flea and tick products will be used on cats and dogs. Many dog flea products can be deadly to cats. For example, K9 Advantix (Bayer) is fine for
dogs but very toxic to cats. Make sure cats only have contact with cat flea and tick products. Discuss the safest, most effective products with your veterinarian.
Household cleaners should be dry before pets can contact
them with their tongues, paws, or bodies. Always be aware of the ingredients in household cleaners and whether they are toxic.
Rodent poisons of all types are toxic to cats and dogs. Even small ingestions can result in death. We
prefer ultrasonic devices for rodent control. Cats themselves can be good mousers too!
All medications and vitamins need to be kept out of reach of all pets. Many of our over-the-counter and prescription human medications are toxic or
deadly to cats and dogs.
Be careful with essential oils for cats and dogs, even in diffusers. Respiratory irritation can occur from inhalation of essential oils thru diffusers. Consult petpoisonhelpline.com for a
detailed list. Rapid absorption occurs orally and thru the skin also. Symptoms can include salivation, tremors, ataxia, respiratory distress, low heart rate, low body temp., and liver failure. Tea tree oil in .1 to 1% concentration in
pet shampoos labeled for dogs and cats is not a concern, but higher concentrations can be dangerous!
Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death in dogs. The darker the chocolate —the more
severe the response. Cats don’t seem to like chocolate, but keep chocolate out of reach of all pets because the toxic dose of chocolate for cats is even lower than for dogs. Coffee and tea have similar effects on dogs and cats and need to also be kept
out of reach.
Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and even small amounts can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar. Keep away from cats also since there have been some reports of cat sensitivity also. Xylitol is contained in gums,
candies, beverages, low sugar peanut butter, oral rinses and toothpaste, some human meds, protein bars, weight-loss products, lotions, facial products, deodorants, nasal sprays, etc.
Keep dogs and cats away from fertilizers and chemically
treated mulch and cocoa mulch.
These are all toxic to dogs and cats and best not to use if you cannot keep your dogs and cats away from them.
Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure in dogs even with small amounts of ingestion.
Cats don’t usually like grapes and raisins so it is unknown if they are toxic to cats.
Dr. Marisa Pepin Slade and Dr. Robert Slade are longtime Hampstead residents and operate a mobile veterinary house call practice. They
welcome your comments at DrsPepin.Slade@gmail.com.