6 Common Household Toxins for your pets

23 Mar 2022

Home is supposed to be the safest place for your pets. However, did you know that these common items lying around your house could be toxic to your pets?
1.    Rat bait
Rat bait works by inhibiting vitamin K in the body that is required to produce clotting factors. If your pet ingested rat bait by accident, this could potentially lead to an inability to form blood clots. Clinical signs appear around 3-4 days after ingestion, these include haemorrhage (usually in the intestines), bloody diarrhoea, pale mucous membrane etc.

2.    Onion/ Garlic
Onion and garlic cause oxidative changes to haemoglobin and to red blood cell membranes, leading to haemolytic anaemia and impaired oxygen delivery. However, toxic doses differ for dogs and cats. Toxic doses are 5 g/kg for cats and 15-30 g/kg for dogs. Clinical signs can develop within 1 day or may take 2-3 days to develop, these include vomiting, Lethargy, weakness, exercise intolerance, pale mucous membrane, and yellowing of mucous membrane.

3.    Paracetamol (Panadol)
Panadol is a common pain killer for humans, but it is actually toxic for dogs and cats. It can cause liver damage to your pets in a high enough dose and therefore should never be given to your pets without your vet’s instructions. Most clinical signs develop around 1-6 hours after ingestion and they include vomiting, lethargy/mental depression, anorexia, abdominal pain, pale mucous membrane, discoloured urine etc.
4.    Lilies (Cats only)
Lilies are lethally toxic to cats and their kidneys. All members of the plant genus Lilium, including Easter lilies, contain a chemical that can damage cat kidneys. Ingestion of even a small amount of any part of the plant from certain types of lilies is a veterinary emergency for cats and early treatment is essential to a successful outcome. Initial clinical signs of lily poisoning in cats include vomiting, lethargy, drooling, and loss of appetite. Increased urination and dehydration may be seen 12 to 24 hours after ingestion and are signs of kidney damage.

5.    Grapes/ Raisins/ sultanas
Grapes are toxic to the cells in the kidneys for dogs and cats. Clinical signs such as vomiting and/or diarrhoea within 6–12 hours of ingestion of grapes or raisins. Other signs include lethargy, anorexia, abdominal pain, weakness, dehydration, polydipsia, and tremors (shivering).

6.    Chocolate
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine, and is highly poisonous to your pets. The effect of toxicity is determined by a few main factors - How much your pet weighs, how much chocolate was eaten and what type of chocolate was eaten (dark/ white/ milk). Symptoms of chocolate toxicity can take several hours to show, these include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, excessive urination, increased heart rate, muscle spasms and Seizures. High doses of chocolate ingested can result in cardiac arrest where the heart fails to pump blood effectively and can lead to sudden death or permanent internal damage if not provided with immediate emergency medical attention.
If there is any suspicion that your pet has ingested these toxins, please bring them to the nearest vet as soon as possible. They will be able to assess your pet and provide suitable treatments to decontaminate or reduce the toxins getting absorbed in your pet’s body. More importantly, we should ensure that these toxins are out of reach for our beloved pets to prevent any accidents from happening and create the the safest and most comfy home for our beloved furry family members!

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