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Fatal if Swallowed

Posted by at 5:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (16)


Fatal if Swallowed by Steve MartindaleI never thought that one of my dogs would swallow something toxic because I pay close attention to what my dogs eat and do. But I had a close call when Buster somehow dug a metal tube of blue oil paint out of a box that I had thought was unreachable. He ate the whole tube. Yes, Buster loves to try new things and will eat anything. I am happy to report that he recoveredafter the scrap metal and a random peach pit were surgically removed from his stomach. We were lucky: Buster survived his colorful experience (think blue everywhere), and now I am even more vigilant. But I have a friend who was not so fortunate. She is careful with her dogs, too, but often gives them “people food” and was shocked that after her dog Abe ate some chocolate, he died.

Human medications are the most common cause of poisoning in companion animals. Prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs should be locked up tight and not left within reach, even if they seem to be well packaged. And we can’t assume that medications will work for our cats and dogs in the same way that they do for usso no experimenting, please! Insecticides are the second most common source of poisoning in companion animals. By being kind to cockroaches and not poisoning them, you can make your house a safer place for all. I tossed out all the insecticides in our house long ago and have not had any problems. Full disclosure: I love jumping spiders and let them patrol the house as they wish.

But what about the not-so-obvious sources of poisoning in our animal companions? The following is a partial list of some common foods that if ingested by your canine best friend, can cause pain, suffering, organ failure, and even death, depending on the quantity consumed.

  • Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Yeast Dough
  • Onions, Garlic, and Chives
  • Xylitol

Xylitol? Yes, and it’s showing up everywhere. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that seems innocuous enoughit’s an ingredient in many sugar-free gums, candies, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and so on. So if your dog happens to get a hold of your tube of toothpaste, don’t assume that the toothpaste will do nothing more than clean his or her teeth!

If you suspect that your animal companion has ingested something toxic, immediately call your emergency veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline.

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16 Comments

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    Patty Bowers says...

    October 1st, 2010, 9:43 pm

    THANKS Steve, for reminding us of how our errant animals may decide to eat something out of boredom or sheer curiosity. And for the new addition to the list, Xylitol and caffeine! SO glad Buster lived! An article like yours should be run every 6 mos., so new viewers to PETA Prime and other PETA websites can learn of these hazards. So valuable!
    Patty

    Michelle says...

    October 6th, 2010, 12:44 pm

    Thank you! I learned about grapes the hard way… I had dropped some and my little dachshund gobbled them up… the next week was hell, both for her and for me!

    Heather Pelletier says...

    October 6th, 2010, 12:53 pm

    MUSHROOMS!! I had mushrooms growing in my yard…just in the grass! My 5 yr old Bernese Mountain Dog ate at least part of one, and ended up vomiting, then bloody diarrhea, then acute kidney failure! After a few days in the hospital and $1800 later he is ok, with only minimal lasting damage…but please be aware that some of these mushrooms in your yard are poisonous!!

    Camelia Finley says...

    October 6th, 2010, 1:54 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this! I recently broke up with a guy after i went to a party and he fed a dog beer, i was shocked that anyone found that acceptable. I would never allow one of my “children” to get a hold of anything toxic, but we all know no matter how hard we try crap happens.

    L&S says...

    October 6th, 2010, 1:55 pm

    Dont forget about Sago Palms. One small bit of this plant will cause kidney failure within hours. A Hard Headed friend I warned about it, brushed it off saying her dog was never interested in chewing it, and it makes her yard pretty. The next week she found her dog passed out in her yard. Luckily, after the ER they saved the dog. This is bad for kids to, and can effect them in the same manor.

    Renee says...

    October 6th, 2010, 2:34 pm

    Thanks for this website & PETA!! My dog Goldie swallowed a 2″ round, white, soft rubber door knob stopper outside (we don’t have them in our house), and for days she was throwing up. Went to the Vet, emergency surgery and $1800.00 later out it came. 2 week recovery, and now she is running around again. Thank you to our Vet, Animal Care Extrodinaire, Stuart, Fl. (Dr. Ball) for saving her, and letting us “pay” on our bill. Thank you! Dogs Rule!

    Jet says...

    October 6th, 2010, 2:35 pm

    LOVE the animals..!! :)

    emma joyce says...

    October 6th, 2010, 2:46 pm

    Many garden plants and flowers are deadly to dogs too. I cant remember which excatly its been a while since I had a dog but maybe you could look into it because I know I was shocked to find out most of my garden could kill my dogs.

    Lynne says...

    October 6th, 2010, 2:55 pm

    This is very good information to have.

    Marisa says...

    October 6th, 2010, 3:09 pm

    I recently had a situation where both of my dogs shared a mega pack of gum retrieved from my purse. Between the two of them, 40 pieces of gum, containing xylitol went missing.

    I had read years ago that hydrogen peroxide inducing vomiting. Thankfully in my panic this popped into my head and I filled a turkey baster with peroxide and put it down their throats. Within minutes both dogs were vomiting excessively. Every piece of gum came up in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner. I felt terrible, they were miserable but safe.

    I’m not a vet, I don’t know if this is recommended but I do know that it saved my boys’ lives and feel its definitely worth sharing.

    kelly says...

    October 6th, 2010, 7:15 pm

    I think my friend has rocks in his head. I have told him many a time, chocolate is no good for dogs. He would hand his dog them small chocolates from the “party box” type, and i would tell him and he would laugh saying “My dog’s tough!” How do you send a message through a brick wall?

    Michelle says...

    October 6th, 2010, 7:35 pm

    My cat accidently got some voltaran gel on her tail whilst I was applying it to myself. Before I could get if off she licked it. Within 24hrs she was in intensive care with kidney failure. After 3 days in hospital & $2k later she was home but there may be permanent kidney damage.

    Brian says...

    October 6th, 2010, 7:59 pm

    Don’t forget about automotive antifreeze, very deadly to animals, very sweet taste so your pet will drink it up fast

    Anne-Marie Hawke says...

    October 6th, 2010, 11:53 pm

    Rubber bones/toys.
    Went to a pet shop to buy something for my 11 month old pup to chew on. The assistant assuredd me that this gel like rubber bone was designed for the dogs to chew and would not cause them any problems. My poor dog has vomited up this gel rubber substance many times over the last two days. BUYER BEWARE.

    jude says...

    October 11th, 2010, 7:50 pm

    I was unaware that raisens and grapes were toxic for dogs. And xylotol as well. Thanks Steve for the valuable information. Jude

    sara says...

    February 5th, 2012, 4:53 pm

    1 1/2 year old chihuahua ate some toothpaste today im watching her like a hawk but she hasnt vomited yet, if she did eat the toothpaste that was on top. found this website very useful, will be taking her to the vets asap. thanks for the info

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