EQUINOX Perm ģ Kennels
RAISIN THE ALARM
This week I had the first case in history of raisin
toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was a 56
pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix who ate
half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and
4:30 PM on Tuesday. He started with vomiting, diarrhea
and shaking about 1 AM on Wednesday but the owner
didn't call my emergency service until 7 AM.
had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute renal
failure but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject. We had her
bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER
service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like meóhad heard
something about it, but ... Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National
Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give I V fluids at
1 1/2 times maintenance and watch the kidney values for
the next 48-72 hours.
The dog's BUN (blood urea
nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and
creatinine over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors
of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an I V catheter and
started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM
and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine
production after a liter of fluids.
At the point I felt the
dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a
urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as
overnight care. He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and
his renal values have continued to increase daily. He produced urine
when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different
anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn't control his
Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN
was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very
elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150,
skyrocketed to 220. He continued to vomit and the owners elected to
This is a very sad caseógreat dog, great owners
who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you
know who has a dog of this very serious risk. Poison control said as
few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people
I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats. Any exposure
should give rise to immediate concern. Feel free to contact me if
you have any questions.
Laurinda Morris, DVM
HUMAN FOODS THAT POISON PETS
Feeding pets food that we enjoy is not
only wrong, it can also be fatal. There are some foodstuffs that
humans relish which cause illness and death if eaten by pets.
Chocolate, macadamia nuts and onions are good examples. Each of these
foods contains chemicals which rarely cause problems for humans, but
for dogs, these same chemicals can be deadly.
Chocolate toxicity Top
Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant
and a diuretic.
When affected by an overdose of chocolate, a dog can become excited
and hyperactive. Due to the diuretic effect, it may pass large volumes
of urine and it will be unusually thirsty. Vomiting and diarrhoea are
also common. The effect of theobromine on the heart is the most
dangerous effect. Theobromine will either increase the dogís heart
rate or may cause the heart to beat irregularly. Death is quite
possible, especially with exercise.
After their pet has eaten a large quantity of chocolate, many pet
owners assume their pet is unaffected. However, the signs of sickness
may not be seen for several hours, with death following within
Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. A
10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a
250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking
chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain ten times more theobromine
than milk chocolate. Thus, a chocolate mud cake could be a real health
risk for a small dog. Even licking a substantial part of the chocolate
icing from a cake can make a dog unwell.
Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous
forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to
eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected.
Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.
Onion and garlic poisoning Top
Onions and garlic are other dangerous food ingredients that cause
sickness in dogs, cats and also livestock. Onions and garlic contain
the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger.
Pets affected by onion toxicity will develop haemolytic anaemia, where
the petís red blood cells burst while circulating in its body.
At first, pets affected by onion poisoning show gastroenteritis with
vomiting and diarrhoea. They will show no interest in food and will be
dull and weak. The red pigment from the burst blood cells appears in
an affected animalís urine and it becomes breathless. The
breathlessness occurs because the red blood cells that carry oxygen
through the body are reduced in number.
The poisoning occurs a few days after the pet has eaten the onion. All
forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw
onions, cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or
garlic. Left over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food
containing onion, sometimes fed as a supplement to young pets, can
Onion poisoning can occur with a single ingestion of large quantities
or with repeated meals containing small amounts of onion. A single
meal of 600 to 800 grams of raw onion can be dangerous whereas a
ten-kilogram dog, fed 150 grams of onion for several days, is also
likely to develop anaemia. The condition improves once the dog is
prevented from eating any further onion
While garlic also contains the toxic ingredient thiosulphate, it seems
that garlic is less toxic and large amounts would need to be eaten to
The danger of macadamia nuts
Other potential dangers Top
Pear pips, the kernels of plums,
peaches and apricots, apple core pips (contain cyanogenic glycosides
resulting in cyanide posioning)
Potato peelings and green looking
Coffee grounds, beans & tea
Hops (used in home brewing)
Tomato leaves & stems (green parts)
Broccoli (in large amounts)
Raisins and grapes
Cigarettes, tobacco, cigars
Macadamia nuts are another concern. A recent paper written by Dr. Ross
McKenzie, a Veterinary Pathologist with the Department of Primary
Industries, points to the danger of raw and roasted macadamia nuts for
The toxic compound is unknown but the affect of macadamia nuts is to
cause locomotory difficulties. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal
muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs
are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some
affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are
Dogs have been affected by eating as few as six macadamia kernels
(nuts without the shell) while others had eaten approximately forty
kernels. Some dogs had also been given macadamia butter.
Luckily, the muscle weakness, while painful, seems to be of short
duration and all dogs recovered from the toxicity. All dogs were taken
to their veterinary surgeon.
Pets owners should not assume that human food is always safe for pets.
When it comes to chocolate, onions, garlic and macadamia nuts, such
foods should be given in only small quantities, or not at all. Be sure
that your pets canít get into your stash of chocolates, that food
scraps are disposed of carefully to prevent onion and garlic toxicity
and that your dog is prevented from picking up macadamia nuts if you
have a tree in your garden.
Thousands of dogs and cats needlessly
suffer and many die each year by accidental ingestion of household
poisons, including pesticides, popular houseplants, medications and
potpourri oils, coffee grounds, homemade play dough, fabric softener
sheets, dishwashing detergent, batteries, cigarettes, alcoholic
drinks, pennies and hand and foot warmers could be dangerous for
- Keep all
prescription and over-the-counter medications out of your pets'
reach, preferably in closed/locked cabinets above the counter.
Painkillers, cold medicines, antidepressants, vitamins and diet
pills can be lethal to animals, even in small doses.
- Read all of the
information on the label before using a product on your pet or in
your home. If a product is for use only on dogs, it should never be
used on cats; if a product is for use only on cats, it should never
be used on dogs.
- Be aware of the
plants you have in your home and yard. The ingestion of azalea,
oleander, sago palm or yew plant material by your pet can be fatal.
Easter lily, day lily, tiger lily and some other lily species can
cause kidney failure in cats.
- Make sure your
pets do not go on lawns or in gardens treated with fertilizers,
herbicides or insecticides until they have dried completely. Always
store such products in areas that are inaccessible to your pets. If
you are uncertain about the usage of any product, ask the
manufacturer and/or your veterinarian for instructions.
- Be alert for
antifreeze/coolant leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted
to the sweet taste and ingesting just a small amount can cause an
animal's death. Consider using animal-friendly products that use
propylene glycol rather than those containing ethylene glycol.
- When using rat,
mouse, snail or slug baits, or ant or roach traps, place the
products in areas that are inaccessible to your pet. Some bait
contains sweet smelling inert ingredients, such as jelly, peanut
butter or sugar that can attract your pets.
Prevention is key to avoiding accidental ingestion of antifreeze!
Motorists can help prevent accidental ingestion of
antifreeze. most cases of antifreeze poisoning occur around the
pet's own home and are usually due to improper storage or disposal.
The following are some guidelines for pet owners to follow to avoid
pet exposures to antifreeze:
clean up antifreeze spills immediately.
your car regularly for leaks.
store antifreeze containers in clearly marked containers and in areas
that are inaccessible to your pets.
allow your pets to have access to the area when you are draining
antifreeze from your car.
Propylene glycol containing products are a less toxic form of
antifreeze and could be used instead of conventional ethylene glycol
POISONOUS HOUDEHOLD PLANTS
plants: (effect the heart)
||Lily of the Valley
English, and Western Yew
lambkill, calico bush
||Dog hobble, dog
laurel, fetter bush
||Fetter bush, male
berry, stagger bush
Plants that could
cause kidney failure:
Certain species of
lilies in cats only
species)- leaves only
Plants that could
cause liver failure:
Plants that can
cause multiple effects:
(Colchicum species) Can cause bloody vomiting and diarrhea,
shock, kidney failure, liver failure, bone marrow suppression.
(Ricinus species )
∑ Usually a lag period of
48hours before signs appear
∑ Beans are highly toxic! Two to 4 beans can be lethal to adult
∑ Severe gastroenteritis, oral pain and irritation increase in thirst,
kidney failure, convulsions, death.
ALWAYS assume that
any ingested mushroom is highly toxic until that mushroom is
identified by a mycologist. Toxic and non-toxic mushrooms can grow in
pet owners do if they suspect their animal has ingested a
poisonous plant? What symptoms should they look for?
If a pet owner
suspects that their animal ingested a poisonous plant, they should
contact their veterinarian immediately. Its advised to bring in part
of the to a nursery for identification if the exact species is not
known. Symptoms of poisonings can include almost any clinical sign.
The animal may even appear completely normal for several hours or for
pesticides and fertilizers that might be in the garage or tool shed?
Make sure your pets do not go on lawns or in gardens treated with
fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides until the time listed on the
label by the manufacturer. If you are uncertain about the usage of
any product, contact the manufacturer for clarification before using
it. Always store pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides in areas
that are inaccessible to your pets.
The most serious problems resulting from fertilizer ingestion in pets
is usually due to the presence of metals. For instance, depending on
the amount ingested, an iron toxicity could occur. Iron can cause
severe gastrointestinal upset and could result in multi-organ damage.
Also, ingestion of large amounts of fertilizer could cause severe
gastric upset and possibly gastrointestinal obstruction.
The most dangerous forms of pesticides include: snail bait containing
metaldehyde, fly bait containing methomyl, systemic insecticides
containing disyston or disulfaton, zinc phosphide containing mole or
gopher bait and most forms of rat poisons. When using pesticides
place the products in areas that are totally inaccessible to
your companion animals. Always store pesticides in secured areas.
Is there a
way for pet owners to train or teach their pets not to eat wrong
There may be ways that a pet owner could train
their pets to avoid certain areas of their home or yard where there
are poisonous plants. However, the safest method would be to prevent
exposure to the plant through removal of the plants from your pet's
home and yard. For more pet poison prevention tips or to tour our
"virtual poisonous plant garden", visit napcc.aspca.org.
Some plants that contain
calcium oxalate crystals in the plant cells. If the plant material is
ingested, the crystals can cause oral irritation, intense burning and
irritation of the oral cavity. Clinical signs seen from ingesting
these plants include difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, drooling, and
inappetence. The following is a list of some plants that contain
calcium oxalate crystals:
Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)
Caladium spp (Elephan's ear)
FLEA CONTROL PRODUCTS
The following are
some guidelines for pet owners to follow when choosing and applying a
flea control product:
use insecticides on very young, pregnant, debilitated, or elderly
animals without consulting your veterinarian. You may want to consider
avoiding the use of some insecticides directly on your pet. Instead, you
could comb the fleas off the animal with a flea comb then submerge the
fleas in a small container of soapy water. This would also be a good
alternative for pets that love being groomed but who violently refuse
baths or the application of a spray.
using ANY product on your pet read the label instructions completely. If
you do not completely understand the instructions, you should contact
the manufacturer or your veterinarian for clarification. Observe the
species and age requirements listed on the label. NEVER use a product
labeled "for use on dogs only" on your cats.
Cats react very differently than dogs to some insecticides.
Some dog products can be deadly to cats, even in tiny amounts.
3. Always use caution
when using shampoos, sprays, topical spot-ons, or mousse near your
pet's eyes, ears, and genitalia. Inactive ingredients could cause
irritation to these sensitive tissues.
4. When using a
fogger or a home premise spray, make sure to remove all pets from the
house for the time period specified on the container. Food and water
bowls should be removed from the area. Allow time for the product to
dry completely before returning your animals to your home. Open
windows or use fans to "air out" the household before returning your
pets to the treated area. Strong fumes can be irritating to your
animalís eyes and upper respiratory system.
Birds are more
sensitive to inhalants and usually require longer time before their
return to the treated home. Contact your veterinary health
professional for advice on product usage around your birds.
5. If you are
uncertain about the usage of any product, contact the product's
manufacturer or your veterinarian to explain the directions BEFORE use
of the product.
6. Insect growth
regulators like lufenuron, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen can be used in
combination or alone with flea control products. They can help break
the flea life cycle by inhibiting flea maturation. Growth regulators
have minimal adverse effects and can improve the efficacy when used in
combination with adult flea insecticides.
8. Just because a
product is labeled as "natural" product does not mean that the product
is completely safe. Many such "natural" products can be harmful when
used inappropriately on pets. For example, d-limonene and linalool are
citrus extracts that are used as flea control agents. Though they are
natural products, they still can have serious side effects if used on
sensitive animals or if used improperly.
9. Observe your pet
closely after using flea products. If your pet exhibits unusual
behavior, or becomes depressed, weak, or uncoordinated you should seek
veterinary advice immediately.
Once again, ALWAYS read the label. This could save the life of your
Be aware of the
plants you have in your home and yard. The
ingestion of azalea, oleander, sago palm, or yew plant material by an
animal can be fatal. Easter lily, day lily, tiger lily, and some other
lily species can cause kidney failure in cats.
Never allow your pets to have access to the areas in which
cleaning agents are being used or stored. Cleaning agents have a variety
of properties; some may only cause mild stomach upset, but others can
cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth and stomach.
When using rat, mouse, snail or slug baits, or ant or roach
traps, place the products in areas that are inaccessible to your
companion animals. Some bait contains sweet smelling inert ingredients,
such as jelly, peanut butter or sugar that can attract your pets.
Never give your pet medication unless you are directed to
do so by a veterinarian. Many medications that are safe for humans can
be deadly for animals.
Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs out of
your pet's reach, preferably in closed cabinets. Pain killers, cold
medicines, anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins and diet pills
are all examples of human medications that can be lethal to animals,
even in small doses.
Many common household items can be hazardous to pets.
Mothballs, potpourri oils, coffee grounds, homemade play dough, fabric
softener sheets, dishwashing detergent, batteries, cigarettes, alcoholic
drinks, pennies, and hand and foot warmers could be dangerous for your
Automotive products such as gasoline, oil and antifreeze
should be stored in areas that are inaccessible to your pets. As little
as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to a cat weighing seven
Before buying a flea product for use on your pet, ask your
veterinarian for a recommendation.
Read all of the information on the label before using a
product on your pet or in your home. Always follow the directions.
If a product is for use only on dogs, it should never be
used on cats; if a product is for use only on cats, it should never be
used on dogs.
sure your pets do not enter areas in which foggers or house sprays
have been used for the period of time indicated on the label. Birds are
more sensitive to inhalants. Always check with your veterinarian before
using any spray product in your home if you own pet birds.
your pets do not go on lawns or in gardens treated with fertilizers,
herbicides or insecticides until they have dried completely. Always
store such products in areas that are inaccessible to your pets.
are uncertain about the usage of any product, ask the manufacturer
and/or your veterinarian for instructions.
Pet Safety Kit
Your animal may become
poisoned in spite of your best efforts to prevent it.
Because of this, you should be prepared.
Your animal companions regularly should be
seen by a local veterinarian to maintain overall health. You should know
the veterinarian's procedures for emergency situations, especially ones
that occur after usual business hours.
You may benefit by keeping a pet safety kit on hand for
Such a kit should contain:
|A fresh bottle of
hydrogen peroxide 3% (USP)
||Can of soft dog or
cat food, as appropriate
|Saline eye solution
to flush out eye contaminants
||Turkey baster, bulb
syringe or large medicine syringe
|Artificial tear gel
to lubricate eyes after flushing
dishwashing liquid (for bathing
|Forceps to remove
|| Muzzle to keep the
animal from hurting you while it is excited or in pain
|Rubber gloves for
use during bathing
||Pet carrier to help
carry the animal to your local veterinarian
You should not attempt any therapy on your
pet without contacting your local veterinarian. If you suspect that
your pet has been exposed to a poison, it is important not to panic.
While rapid response is important, panicking generally interferes with
the process of helping your animal.
If your animal is seizing, losing consciousness, unconscious or having
difficulty breathing, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
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