What are you Doing to Prevent Pet Poisonings? Top 10 Poisons to Dogs and Cats

Would you like to know the 10 Toxins which were the top poisons to dogs and cats in 2013?  This information could help prevent a serious emergency with your pet.

Lifestyle Pet Care has been a member of Pet Sitters International since our inception, in 2011.  One of the benefits of that affiliation is the wealth of information that we are able to share.  A recent edition of Pet Sitter’s World had an excellent article on Pet Poisonings, This really hit home for me as a new client recently told us that his cat now suffers from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) from repeatedly ingesting a toxin – one of their houseplants!  It took a long time to diagnose, and not only did the cat suffer needlessly, but he is on medication now, for the rest of his life.  Pretty dramatic.

Pet Poison Helpline

So…it is worth it to be knowledgeable, and careful about what our dogs AND cats have access to.   I hope you get something from the article; I did!

Dogs: Top 10 Toxins of 2013
1. Chocolate: Dark equals dangerous!  Bakers and dark chocolate are the most toxic, and milk chocolate if ingested in large amounts.
2. Xylitol: This sweetener found in sugarless chewing gum and candy, medications and nasal sprays causes a rapid drop inblood sugar and liver failure only in dogs
(not cats).
3. NSAlDs: Ibuprofen, naproxen, etc., found in products like Advil, Motrin, and Aleve.
Dogs don’t metabolize these drugs well; ingestions result in stomach ulcers and
kidney failure.
4. Over the counter cough, cold and allergy medications: Those that contain
acetaminophen or decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, are
particularly toxic.
5. Rodenticides (mouse poison): These may cause internal bleeding (brodifacoum,
bromadiolone, etc.) or brain swelling (bromethalin), even in small amounts.
6. Grapes and raisins: These harmless human foods cause kidney damage in dogs.
7. Insect bait stations: These rarely cause poisoning in dogs -the bigger risk is
bowel obstruction when dogs swallow the plastic casing.
8. Prescription ADD/ADHD medications: These amphetamines such as Adderall,
Concerta, Dexedrine, and Vyvanse can cause tremors, seizures, cardiac problems
and death in pets.
9. Glucosamine joint supplements: Overdose of tasty products such as Cosequin and Move Free typically only cause diarrhea; however, in rare cases, liver failure can develop.
10. Silica gel packets and oxygen absorbers: Silica gel packs, found in new shoes,
purses or backpacks, is rarely a concern. The real threat is the iron-containing
oxygen absorbers found in food packages like beef jerky or pet treats, which can
cause iron poisoning.

Cats: Top 10 Toxins of 2013
1- Lilies: Plants in the Ulium species, such as Easter, Tiger, and Asiatic lilies, cause kidney failure in cats. All cat owners must be aware of these highly toxic plants!
2. Household cleaners: Most general purpose cleaners (e.g.,Windex,
Formula 409) are fairly safe, but concentrated products like toilet bowl or drain cleaners can cause chemical bums.
3. Flea and tick spot-on products for dogs:Those that are pyrethroid based (e.g., Zodiac, K9 Advantix, Sergeant’s, etc.) cause tremors and seizures and can be deadly to cats.
4. Antidepressants: Cymbalta and Effexor topped our antidepressant list in 2013. Cats seem strangely drawn to these medications. Beware – ingestion can cause severe neurologic and cardiac effects.
5. NSAlDs: Cats are even more sensitive than dogs to drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen. Even veterinary specific NSAIDslike Rimadyl and Meloxicam should be used with caution.
6. Prescription ADD/ADHD medications: These amphetamines such as Adderall, Concerta, Dexedrine, and Vyvanse can cause tremors, seizures, cardiac problems and death.
7. Over the counter cough, cold and allergy medications:Those that contain acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) are particularly toxic, as they damage red blood cells and cause liver failure.
8. Plants containing insoluble calcium oxalate crystals: Common houseplants like the peace lily, philodendron, and pathos can cause oral/upper GI irritation, foaming at the
mouth, and inflammation when ingested, but severe symptoms are uncommon.
9.  Household insecticides:Thankfully, most household sprays and powders are fairly safe, but it’s best to keep curious kitties away until the products have dried or settled.
10.  Glow sticks and glow jewelry: These irresistible “toys” contain a chemical called dibutyl phthalate. When it contacts the mouth, pain and excessive foaming occurs, but the signs quickly resolve when the cat eats food or drinks water.