Is your pet out of harm's way?
Toxic chemicals, dangerous plants, as well as products and substances found in everyday surroundings can be poisonous or even fatal to animals. Unfortunately, a pet can ingest a household chemical, lap up a liquid, or chew on a seemingly harmless plant - and become sick or even die.
Have a look around the home, accidents can happen quickly. Here are some preventative measures that can help:
- Keep medicine, household cleaner, pesticides & automotive products locked up or stored out of reach of pets and children.
- Before using any household or yard product, always read the label first and follow instructions exactly for safe use, storage and disposal.
- Never give any medication or supplement to your pet without first consulting your veterinarian. What's helpful to humans can be dangerous or even deadly to pets.
- Always read the label before using any flea control product on or around your pet. For example, flea products labeled "For dogs only" can cause serious or life-threatening illness if used on cats.
Common Household Hazards
It may surprise you how many substances found in and around your home can be dangerous to your pet.
- in the garbage: fatty off cuts causing pancreatitis; off chicken containing E coli & Salmonella; cooked bones causng obstruction; even coffee grounds (caffeine causes increased heart rate, hyperactivity, shaking or seizures)
- foods: grapes or sultanas cause cause kidney failure & possibly death in pets; chocolate; yeast dough; avocado; alcohol; tea; macademia nuts; onions; salt; fatty foods; foods containing the sweetener xylitol eg peanut butter, chewing gum
- painkillers and medications: do not give your pet human medication without consulting a veterinarian
- soaps, detergents & cleansers: can cause stomach upset, drooling, vomiting &/or diarrhoea. Bleaches can cause severe oral burns & irritation to the respiratory tract.
Bedroom / Living Room
- mothballs: can cause vomiting, lethargy, seizures, haemolytic anaemia & even death. Ingestion of even one mothball in a small pet can cause serius signs.
- batteries: can cause oral ulcers, burns, perforation or blockage of the gastrointestinal tract.
Garage / Backyard
- antifreeze: can be fatal to dogs & cats, even in very small amounts.
- petrol: can irritate skin & mucous membranes. Exposure can lead to central nervous system depression, vomiting, drooling, diarrhoea & aspiration.
- insecticides & herbicides: always follow label directions; keep pets away from the area of application for the time recommended.
- glues & adhesives: apart from sealing body parts, some can cause stomach upset & others can expand to cause gastric obsruction.
Potentially Dangerous Plants
- Plants harmful to the heart are: liliy of the valley, oleander, rhododendron, azalea, yew, foxglove & kalanchoe.
- Plants that can cause kidney failure: rhubarb leaves & shamrock; & especially lillies in cats.
- Palnts that can cause liver failure include sago palms, cycad palms & some species of mushrooms.
- A particularly dangerous plant is Brunfelsia (Yesterday Today & Tomorrow). It causes vomiting, facial twitching, seziures and possibly death.
- Corn plant, ribbon plant & other Dracaenia species can cause abdominal plant, vomtiing, depression, weakness, drooling, loss of appetite, incoordination, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing & elevated heart rate.
- Castor bean (Ricinus species) can cause renal failure, convulsions & death.
Contact Quakers Hill Veterinary Hospital immediately on 9626 9561 if you suspect your pet has swallowed a suspicious item or substance.