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This section provides a limited amount of information on some of the most common poisonings. There are too many possibilities to list here. If you have the packaging, take it with you to your veterinarian. Great Reference:

Antifreeze (ethylene glycol):
This product is very toxic to both dogs and cats. Given its sweet flavor dogs will lick it off pavement or out of buckets and in small amounts this can result in acute kidney failure. Cats only need to walk through antifreeze and lick it off their paws to be affected. Initial signs that are generally witnessed include drunken like behavior which progresses to marked lethargy and eventually coma. Early treatment is imperative for these animals to survive. Any suspicion that your pet has ingested antifreeze requires immediate medical attention-take to your veterinarian or call Animal Urgent Care and Specialty Group. 760-738-9600

Household & Garden Plants:
Most plants in large amounts can be toxic to plants. These common flowers are particularly dangerous: amaryllis, aconite, azalea, belladonna, buckeye, foxgloves, hyacinth, hydrangea, ivy, many species of lily, night shade, rhododendron, tulip, and yew. 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.

Great reference for poisonous plants:
  • Amanita Mushrooms: The Amanita species is well know for causing acute liver failure in both people and pets. The risk is dependent on the amount of mushroom eaten and the size of the dog. Early signs include vomiting and abdominal pain that can progress to protracted vomiting and development of severe jaundice and liver failure. Any pet that is suspected of eating these mushrooms should be evaluated by a veterinarian right away.

  • Avocado: Avocados can be poisonous to dogs if they eat a large amount of the fruit and chew on the leaves and branches. Some dogs are smart enough to avoid swallowing the pits but others are not, pits can result in obstructions. Avocado toxicity can destroy 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.

  • Lily Toxicity: Lilies can be very attractive to cats both indoors and outdoors. It takes only a small amount of chewing on the leaves or petals to result in acute kidney failure. If you have any suspicion that your cat has chewed on a lily plant see a veterinarian as soon as possible early treatment is possible but delay can result in needing kidney dialysis to pull these cat through.

  • Sago Palm: All parts of Cycas Revoluta are poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain the largest amount of toxin. The ingestion of any part of these plants may lead to vomiting, yellowing of the skin and eyes, increased thirst, bloody diarrhea, bruising, bleeding disorders, liver damage/failure, discolored urine, and possibly death. Immediate medical attention is necessary to avoid/treat these complications.
Outdoor/Garden Products:
The most common outdoor or garden poisonings that we encounter in Southern California include fertilizers, rat/mouse pellets, snail/slug bait, and gopher/squirrel bait. Some of these products are mixed into garden fertilizers and can cause poisoning from the animal eating the fertilized ground.

    There are two types of Rat and Mouse Poisons:
  • Bleeding Poisons: This type of poison will cause the dog or cat to bleed internally by blocking their ability to use vitamin K that is needed for clot formation. The pet usually consumed the poison in the past 3-5 days. Until the bleeding starts there will usually not be any signs that the pet has eaten the poison. Signs that show when a dog or cat has ingested rat poison include: lethargy, weakness, rapid or labored breathing, moist cough, bleeding from the nose or mouth, bloody urine, bloody stool or vomit, stiffness, or lameness. Rat bait is sweet and dogs will eat it over and over again. Cats are usually poisoned because they have eaten a mouse or rat that has eaten the poison. A veterinarian should evaluate any animal with the above signs.
  • Bromethalin: These rodenticides work by causing swelling of the brain. If you think that your pet may have eaten rat/mouse poison, bring your pet and, if possible the packaging or note the active ingredient in the poison, to a veterinarian immediately. Waiting to see if your pet will become ill or not is not a good idea, since the best chance of effective treatment is before the symptoms occur.

  • Fertilizers: Many of the common fertilizers have high concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus and sometimes various insecticides that can be very toxic to dogs. Early signs are generally vomiting and diarrhea that can become very serious if left untreated.

  • Metaldehyde/Organophosphates (snail bait) poisons: This poison causes tremors, muscle stiffness, drooling, urination, and defecation. In large doses the dog will progress to convulsions. These dogs need to be treated quickly and aggressively and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. Treatment may include pumping the stomach, sedatives, muscle relaxants, and intravenous fluids.

  • Strychnine (gopher/squirrel) poisons: This is the most potent and fast acting poison that causes severe convulsions. The seizures from strychnine poison can be so severe that the animal stops breathing. The animals are very sensitive to noise and any loud noise can cause a convulsion. These animals need to be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Treatment includes anesthesia, pumping the stomach, controlling body temperature, IV fluids, muscle relaxants, and anticonvulsants. These animals may require several days in the hospital.
Most common in dogs generally from eating butts or getting into food that has been laced with pot. These animals become very depressed, lethargic, leak urine, and in large quantities result in respiratory depression. Animals suspected of eating marijuana should be evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Mycotoxins (Moldy food): Mold that grows on spoiled food or in compost can be toxic and cause convulsion and seizures. Do NOT feed your pet something that you would not eat, i.e. old leftovers.

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