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Causes and Symptoms of Pet Poisoning

Pet Poisoning should be the concern of every dog owner, as well as having other pets in the house. Some pet owners fear that an unfriendly neighbor might deliberately poison their dog because of some real or imagined misbehavior. But cases such as these are, fortunately, very rare.

If you suspect a dog poisoning problem, act fast.  Contact your local emergency veterinary center  or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hot line at (888) 426-4435.

More often, pet poisoning is the result of someone's ignorance or carelessness. For example, your pet can get lead poisoning if he is allowed to chew on painted objects or to lick old paint cans laying around the garage.

Perhaps you are cleaning and have been spraying for insects or small rodents with an agent that contains phosphorous. Several sniffs of this and your dog can develop serious phosphorous poisoning. If you are trying to get rid of rats and mice with a rodent poison, there is a fair chance that your pet might try a sample.

When playing outside, your dog can nip the leaves of bushes that have been sprayed. Or, your cat may lick his paws and feet after running over an area that has been sprayed with insecticide.

The family garbage can, an attractive nuisance to dogs, must also share a major load of the blame for pet poisoning. Usually, this is where a dog finds old pills, powders, medicines, and decaying meat (most common form of sickness from garbage cans).

Top 10 Causes of Pet Poisoning

  1. Prescription and over the counter Medications formulated for human consumption.
  2. Household Insecticides.
  3. Household rodenticides that are formulated to kill rats and mice. These products use bait made out of grain, which also attracts pets such as pet dogs and cats.
  4. Human foods that are toxic to pets.  These include:
    • Grapes/raisins (causes dog kidney failure)
    • The sugar substitute xylitol (causes canine liver failure and low sugar levels in the blood).

  5. Medications made for veterinary medicine. These medications are formulate to taste pleasant to dogs, which may cause them to go after the entire bottle.
  6. Dog Chocolate Poisoning. Dog chocolate ingestion is poisonous. Chocolate contains methylxanthines, a canine stimulant. Dog chocolate related  symptoms include vomiting, agitated behavior, diarrhea, high heart rate, dog seizures, muscle tremors.
  7. Home Cleaners.  These products are toxic to dogs and include bleach, detergent, batteries and other products.

  8. Poisonous plants. Many types of plants are poisonous to dogs. These include white sago palms (causes canine liver failure). 

    Top 17 Dog Poison Plants Video

    dog poisonous plants
    Common Pet Poisoning Causes include dog poisonous plants such as Christmas Poinsetts
    Source: Cody R
  9. Herbicides taste like salt which make them attractive to dogs.
  10. Outdoor products. Antifreeze poisoning is all to common as dogs can drink it from puddles left under cars.  Even street salt left on sidewalks to melt ice can be toxic (use a safe alternative this winter such as Safe Paw Ice Melter). 

When Dog Poisoning Is Suspected

When you think your dog or other pet has been poisoned, call your veterinarian immediately. If he asks you to induce vomiting, the usual emetics are hydrogen peroxide mixed with an equal amount of water; common table salt mixed with 2 teaspoons to a cup of warm water.

Caution: Family remedies from home medicine cabinets are not suited for pets. Tonics that contain an amount of strychnine that has been proven beneficial to human beings are often extremely dangerous since dogs are highly sensitive to this drug.

Poisoning can have a sudden, devastating effect on your pet when large doses are taken. Or, if ingested over a period of time, in small amounts, the poison will gradually weaken him.

It is not difficult to tell when your dog has been poisoned. The signs are quite definite. He may be either nervous and excited or depressed. His symptoms may include trembling, vomiting, and convulsions. Your dog may also develop blue gums, cloudiness in the eyes, and blood-streaked diarrhea. Depending upon the kind of poison ingested, one or more of these signs may be seen.



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