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All Dog

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Chocolate retains the No. 1 spot for the most common food-related veterinary emergencies.

Chocolate poisoning in dogs is the type of poisoning most commonly reported to Veterinary Poisons Information Services. Chocolate contains a powerful stimulant called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Dark chocolate, cocoa mulch and cocoa contain high levels of theobromine.
Signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, hyperactivity, high temperature and blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm and tremors.  In cases this can lead to death. Just one square of baker's chocolate is fatal to a 10 lb dog, and 2 squares are deadly to a 20 lb dog.



There is an obvious problem when it comes to human medications. The first is the need to have them at hand when taking on a regular basis, then to have them in such a  location so when you have a headache or other annoying pain, you don’t have to search high and low for the medications without risking raising your blood pressure in the search!!   

So,  the most common place to hold medications is a bag, similar to a wash bag which is often held in a handbag or on a sideboard etc, but not locked away. Of course, find a furry friend that doesn’t have a penchant to investigate what is held inside, and therein we have the problem..

The most common pet poisoning involves cold medications, painkillers, heart drugs, antidepressants, amphetamines and vitamins.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

This group of drugs includes ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen, which are widely available.

Poisoning can result in vomiting, diarrhoea, bleeding from the gut, severe stomach ulceration and kidney failure.


Most homes have various insecticides that can be toxic to our pets, some of which we don’t even think of as being a poison.

A commonly reported insecticide-related poisonings are associated with accidental application of flea and tick medications made for dogs but applied to the household cat.  Roach Baits such as organophosphates, carbamates and many more are extremely poisonous without being aware of the problem (pyrethrins is especially toxic to cats).

Rat poisons are commonly sweet smelling to attract them, but they have a similar attraction to dogs. It is essential you keep rat bait in an inaccessible place to your dog, and monitor him if he wears a flea/tick collar or when poking away in the Garden with snail bail having been laid down.

Metaldehyde is a common active ingredient of slug pellets/snail baits. Metaldehyde poisoning is extremely serious and usually fatal without urgent treatment by a vet.

Pesticide poisoning symptoms include pale gums, fatigue, nosebleeds, internal bleeding, excessive drooling, muscle tremors, blood in urine/stool, breathing difficulty and death.

4. Veterinary Medications

Misunderstanding how to give prescribed dog medication is it seems a major issue when it comes to poisoning. In the USA there have been over 8,000 cases of pet poisoning due to veterinary medications in one year alone.

5. Human Food

This is a difficult group and one that raises arguments all around the world. It is common in many countries to give food leftovers to the pet dog, raw or cooked. And anyone saying this is wrong and can be dangerous will raise and argument for sure. But the facts do say otherwise.

Raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, Xylitol (a sugar substitute) and avocados can all be toxic to dogs. Foods that are high in protein and fat (butter, lard, peanut butter, cheeses, and energy bars can also cause life-threatening pancreatitis.

Grapes. Sultanas, raisins and currents can be toxic to dogs. Baking or cooking them in cakes, will not reduce the risk of poisoning. Just a handful of them can be fatal to some dogs.

Symptoms include fatigue, staggering, irregular heartbeat/breathing, seizures, coma, and death.

Poisoning may initially show as vomiting and diarrhea, but can lead to kidney failure, which may occur just a few days after the initial effects.

Onions & Garlic,  and yes there are many dogs that will scoff down onions and garlic without being French..  Ingested in large amounts this can be fatal.  A chemical ( thiosulphate ) in these foods, causes the red blood cells in the blood stream to rupture, resulting in anemia. Baby food containing onion powder has killed puppies.

Symptoms include difficulty breathing, weakness, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and jaundice.

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener and found in sugarless candy and gum and can be potentially deadly to your dog as his blood sugar rapidly drops.

AVOCADO. all products of the avocado plant are poisonous to canines, regardless of how its processed or presented.  It destroys the heart muscle and other tissues, including the lungs.

Signs of poisoning include difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, swollen abdomen, fluid build up around the heart, seizures, coma, and death.

Take your dog to the vet is you even suspect they may have been poisoned, this is not something that can be delayed.


Household Cleaners

If you have ever become overcome by the strong smell of cleaners in the cleaner isle at the grocery store, you can appreciate how strong your household cleaning products smell to your pet.

Household toxins can range from fire logs to cleaning products. Some items can be corrosive, while other can cause obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract requiring surgical intervention.

There were over 10,000 calls to one USA animal agency regarding household poisoning in one year alone.


Even so much as a drop of beer can cause intoxication. Alcohol poisoning however, doesn't just come from alcoholic beverages, but also vanilla extract, raw bread dough and ripened fruits fallen from trees and bushes.

The fermented yeast of swallowed dough can cause not only alcohol poisoning, but also  bloat or intestinal rupture. We have seen numerous  films of cows drunk after having eaten pears which had fallen from the tree and started to ferment where they lay. The humorous site of wombly cows, hides the dangers they may incur.

Symptoms include: disorientation, vomiting/diarrhea, seizure, coma, swollen stomach, seizures, coma, and death.


The most common hazards include paint thinners, drain cleaners, ethylene glycol antifreeze, and pool and spa chemicals. Some of these can be sweet tasting or without taste such as ethylene glycol (anti freeze), among other dangerous chemicals, highly fatal to pets and humans even in the smallest amounts. Keep all chemicals out of pet reach.

Symptoms of ingestion include vomiting/diarrhea, dilated eyes, depression, increased thirst, kidney failure, seizures, irregular heartbeat/breathing, coma, and death.

9. Plants

Most plants in large amounts can be potentially toxic. Common flowers such amaryllis, azalea, aconite, hydrangea,  kalanchoe, foxgloves, buckeye, schefflera, hyacinth, belladonna, ivy, rhododendron, night shade, tulip, and all species of lily are particularly dangerous.

Even common house plants can lead to organ failure if ingested,  including  chrysanthemums, daffodils, lilies, oleander, Sago palm, and holiday plants such as mistletoe and holly.

Symptoms of ingestion include: dilated eyes, vomiting/diarrhea, irritation around mouth, swelling of the mouth and throat, excessive drooling, excessive thirst, irregular heartbeat/breathing, muscle tremors, seizures, coma, and death.

10.Lawn Fertilizer

Some types of lawn fertilizers can be extremely poisonous to dogs. Be aware that dogs can be exposed to multiple types of fertilizer if they are allowed to walk freely across various gardens.

Typical dog reactions to poison:

• Vomiting or diarrhea

• Irregular heartbeat

• Dilated pupils

• Difficulty breathing

• Pale gums

• Swollen abdomen

• Muscle tremors

• Bloody/painful urination or defecation

• Bleeding from any orifice

It is VITAL to seek veterinary help immediately that you suspect poisoning, not later or in half an hour, but NOW.

Some poisonings can be treated and halted or reversed to prevent long term damage, permanent damage or death.

With some poisonings even 10 minutes will make the difference between being able to save your dog, or not.

The need to respond straight away, as soon as poisoning is suspected, cannot be overstated, it will make the difference between your dog living or dying. Please don’t take the risk.