Poisoning

Every year, some of our loved pets fall victim to accidental poisoning in our houses or gardens. Occasionally also, we owners  are guilty of using products incorrectly, and thereby inadvertently causing illness or even death.  These are all tragedies which can often be avoided.  Some rare cases of malicious poisoning still unfortunately occur too, but we are glad to say these have been very few and far between in Bangor over recent years.

Some common substances which are entirely harmless to us can be very, very dangerous to our furry family members.

The Animal Welfare Foundation produce an excellent leaflet called Pets_and_Poisons free to download (or read on line). This leaflet highlights many of the most common poisons. Well worth a read!cat poison

 

Human foods you shouldn’t give your pet

One of the most common questions we get asked is about chocolate ingestion in dogs. I guess we all know it isn’t safe, but how much is too much? To help us decide what action might be necessary if a pet (usually a dog!) has eaten some chocolate, we refer to toxicity tables such as one published by the VSPN, or to a Chocolate Toxicity Calculator such as the one on AskaVetQuestion.com. The likely outcome of the ingestion can be predicted, allowing us to decide if we need take preventative action or not (eg. induce prompt vomiting to clear the poison from the system!).

grapes

Grapes can cause renal failure in dogs.

Some other surprising poisons include paracetamol in cats, xylitol in dogs and grapes or raisins/sultanas in dogs.

Recently, one of the most commonly available dangerous chemicals (a permethrin) has been removed from pet shop sales and has been  relegated to pharmacy only. Thus, this potentially lethal product is no longer available over the counter without advice,  so hopefully we will see far fewer cases of cats poisoned with this Bob Martin’s dog product. Many of us have spent long weekends in the past trying (often in vain) to save poor cats inadvertently dosed with this lethal parasite control product. We will all be glad never to see these cases again!

There are myriad other problems but mostly common sense should protect our pets: please do read instructions on any chemicals you use in the house or garden, and you should be OK.

Thankfully, poisoning is far less common than many owners fear – but it does happen, and prompt veterinary advice should be sought to avoid tragedy – Contact us if you need advice!