Pet Toxin Safety

Common Pet Toxins
When there is a pet in the home, there are many things to consider keeping out of reach. Knowing what can cause harm to your pet, and how, can help pet owners understand the importance of keeping harmful substances away, and when to seek veterinary assistance.

Common Toxins
1) Foods: The toxins that chocolate contains are theobromine and caffeine. The effect that these toxins can have on dogs include: vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, heart racing to abnormal rates, and in extreme cases, death. Grapes and Raisins can result in kidney failure.

2) Anti-Coagulant Rodenticides: Interfere with the clotting cascade, which can result in hemorrhage (internal bleeding) leading to weakness and ataxia (stumbling, drunk appearance), brain swelling, kidney failure.

3) NSAIDS: Human medication such as ibuprofen and aspirin can result in gastric ulcers and kidney failure.

4) Lilies: Lilies are toxic to cats specifically, and can result in severe acute renal failure. Even drinking the water from the vase lilies are in can be enough to cause harm.

5) Xylitol: Xylitol is an ingredient found in chewing gum. It can cause Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that results in weakness and even seizures, and Hepatic Necrosis (destruction of liver tissue) that results in hemorrhage and inability to clot.

6) Marijuana: Marijuana ingestion can cause incoordination, vomiting, agitation, urinary incontinence in dogs, and more serious problems like changes in heart rate and seizures.

If your pet is ever acting strange and there is a possibility that they have ingested a toxic substance, do not hesitate to call your veterinarian in scarborough or where you live go to a veterinarian emergency clinic. It is very important that when veterinary staff members are asking questions, a thorough and honest history is disclosed. We need to know as much as possible so that we can determine the cause, the severity of the toxicity, and how to go forward with treatment. Depending on the toxin and the severity of the damage done by it, the recovery phase after immediate treatment may be a long time. Follow up appointments and bloodwork may be required.

Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your pet human food and any human medication and when in doubt, do not give anything you are unsure of. Any medications such as Advil, Cold medicine, sleeping aids, and even veterinary medicine prescribed by your vet, should always be kept out of reach from your pet to avoid ingestion and possible overdose of their own medication. We want to help you keep your pet as safe as possible and prevent accidents from occurring. By educating our clients we can aid in creating a safe environment for your four legged family members!

This blog was written with the helpful information found on

By Liz Espejo, RAHT