The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline have compiled a list of the top 10 most common poisoning cases in dogs and cats. If your pet shows signs of poisoning or you suspect that your pet has eaten any of these substances, you should call or visit a veterinarian immediately.
Chocolate tops the list—and for good reason! Chocolate is prevalent in our homes, especially during holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, dogs are eager to chow down on it when the opportunity arises. Darker chocolate contains more theobromine, the toxic component, than milk chocolate and is therefore considered more dangerous to dogs. The amount of chocolate ingested in relation to the size of the dog is also key in assessing risk. Smaller ingestions can cause symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst
Mouse and Rat Poisons
Rodenticide baits placed in the home, garage and other buildings are a common source of accidental poisoning for pets. There are three main types of baits on the market: anticoagulants, bromethalin
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
Ibuprofen is a popular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication present in most homes. Ibuprofen is safely used to treat pain in people, but even one or two pills can be dangerous for pets. Cats are especially sensitive to this drug as their bodies are unable to metabolize it well. When ingested by dogs and cats, ibuprofen can cause vomiting, stomach ulcers with subsequent bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract, damage to the kidneys and, in very high does, possibly neurologic effects like sedation and seizures.
Xylitol is a type of sweetener toxic to dogs
Grapes and Raisins
Raisin and grape poisoning in dogs is poorly understood but can result in kidney failure. Dogs that eat toxic amounts of grapes and raisins will usually start to vomit within 24 hours of ingestion progressing to kidney damage over the next couple of days. Affected dogs can show symptoms of decreased activity and appetite, continued vomiting and changes in thirst and urination. Fortunately, dogs have a good prognosis when treated early before kidney damage occurs.
Antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Cymbalta)
Antidepressants are increasingly prescribed for behavior and anxiety issues in pets, but overdoses can lead to such serious symptoms as hyperexcitability or lethargy, disorientation, vomiting, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures and changes in heart rate and blood pressure. Depending on the specific drug and the size of the pet, even one or two pills can lead to poisoning.
Acetaminophen is a pain medication used frequently by humans, but unfortunately, this common medication can cause serious poisoning when ingested by pets. Cats are especially sensitive to acetaminophen, and ingestion of just one pill is almost always enough to cause illness. Dogs that ingest overdoses of acetaminophen tend to develop damage to the liver, which may manifest with symptoms such as vomiting, decreased appetite
Vitamin D and Cholecalciferol
Human vitamin D supplements and cholecalciferol rodenticides can lead to serious poisoning when ingested in excess by pets.
Stimulant Drugs (Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse)
Stimulant medications prescribed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can cause serious symptoms when ingested by pets, even with ingestion of just one or two pills. Ingestion of these medications can result in hyperactivity, dilated pupils, tremors and seizures as well as elevated heart rate, blood pressure
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