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Toxins 101: Items to be careful with around pets

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Posted on 06-13-2016

Toxins

We all know there are many items out there that are toxic to our pets.  Most of us know of the common ones like Chocolate and Onions.  But there are many others too!  Here is a list of a few items that many are not aware of.

Mothballs:

As mice and rats come into the house to stay warm, so do moths! Mothballs may look benign, but can be quite dangerous as they typically contain chemicals such as paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene. The classic smell of mothballs is typically due to “old-fashioned" mothballs that contain naphthalene, and these are generally much more toxic than the paradichlorobenzene-containing ones.

Clinical signs from mothball poisoning in dogs and cats include gastrointestinal signs (e.g., drooling, vomiting, abdominal pain), neurologic signs (e.g., lethargy, tremors, etc.), blood changes (e.g., abnormalities in the red blood cells), and rarely, even organ failure.

Mushrooms:   

While the majority of mushrooms are benign and only result in minor symptoms when ingested, there are a few types that can be deadly (even to humans!) when ingested. Because mushroom identification is so difficult, we err on the side of caution and assume any mushroom ingested by a pet is toxic. The most dangerous type are The Amanita mushroom. 

Depending on the type of mushroom ingested, clinical signs include gastrointestinal signs (e.g., drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain), neurologic signs (e.g., walking drunk, tremoring, agitation, seizures), organ damage (e.g., liver or kidney failure), or even comas. 

We always recommend to watch our pets carefully and ensure they are not eating things off the ground, but in the event your pet ingests something questionable, give us a call.  We are here to help. 

Tina, RVT

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