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Poison risk to pets

Dogalogue

With Bev and Daisy

Bev Truss
Bev Truss

AS the colder weather approaches and Christmas is around the corner, while we are enjoying the rich foods and putting up decorations, please look out for your pets. Pets are vulnerable to poisons but the risk can be even greater during the winter.

Some poisons are very toxic, while some are minimally toxic, like ant baits and silica packs. When in doubt, call your vet. Take special care to keep these toxins out of your pet’s reach and pet-proof your house.

Antifreeze poisoning is the most common emergency at this time of the year. Ethylene glycol is the main constituent of antifreeze and is poisonous for dogs, cats and other animals. Pets are attracted to the sweet taste of ethylene glycol and many will lap antifreeze spilled or leaking onto garage floors or driveways.

Make sure all antifreeze containers are leak proof and have tight-fitting lids. Cats can knock them off shelves and sometimes get it on their coat, which means they poison themselves when they groom and lick it off.

A small quantity of concentrated antifreeze that an animal has ingested can result in signs within an hour and can lead to death within 24 hours. If you have any suspicion that your pet has had contact with antifreeze, call your vet immediately.

Other foods and plants that are health hazards to pets are:

– Chocolate, the darker the more toxic;

– Nuts and raisons;

– Xylitol-containing products (such as sugar-free gums and candies);

– Ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin® in brand name or generic form);

– Acetaminophen (Tylenol® in brand name or generic form);

– Silica gel packs;

– Household cleaners;

– Canine pyrethroid insecticides are highly toxic to cats (spot on flea and tick medicine designed for dogs but erroneously placed on cats)

– Glow sticks/glow jewellery;

– Pine needles from the tree;

– Poinsettias;

– Holly berries;

– Lilies;

– Mistletoe;

– Fat trimmings from human food and cooked bones;

– Ribbons, tinsel and other baubles can be swallowed;

– Lit candles can be knocked over;

– Electrical cables can be chewed both inside and outside the home.

Accurate and timely identification of the suspected substance is very important information for your vet. Having the container, package or label in hand will save valuable time and may save the life of your pet.

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