Dogs and cats might ingest ordinary household products that are commonly stored in the house or garage. Some products are potentially toxic and should be stored safely away from pets. Some plants found in the house or yard can also be toxic if consumed. If a pet ingests a potentially poisonous chemical compound or plant, the toxic signs may be delayed hours or even days before they are noticed.

When a poisioning is suspected, it is important to stay calm and not panic. When dealing with a suspected poisioning, the best possible situation is to know the identity of the poision to which the pet was exposed, the amount ingested (or exposed by other means, the time the exposure occurred and when signs of the poisioning started. If available, collect the poision container and try to make an estimate of the amount of poision exposure. Obtain the telephone number of anyone who might have inadvertanly poisioned the pet, such as an exterminator, as they might be able to provide valuable nformation about the substance to which the pet was exposed.

If it is not possible to identify a specific poison, your veterinarian will only be able to treat the pet on the basis of the presenting signs. In some cases the signs of poisioning are distinct enough to allow identification of the poison. In situations in which it is likely that a poisoning has occurred but the identity of the poision is unclear, it is possible in many cases to successfully treat an animal symptomatically.

Activated charcoal, the universal antidote, is one of the most effective agents in the treatment of many animal poisonings. It is administered orally and functions by absorbing toxic compnounds and therby preventing adsorption of a potential toxicant. The inclusion of sorbitol, a mild cathartic, in the treatment regime may decrease the time required to eliminate the activated charcoal and its adsorbed toxicant from the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Ant and roach baits
  • Antifreeze containing ethylene glycol
  • Bleach
  • Fertilizer, including plant foods
  • Human drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, cold medications containing pseudoephedrine
  • Hydrocarbons (paint, polishes & fuel oils)
  • Rodenticides
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avocodo
  • Chocolate (all forms)
  • Coffee (all forms)
  • Fatty foods - Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy or spoiled food
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough
  • Garlic
  • Xylitol-sweetened products
  • Azalea/Rhododendron
  • Castor Bean
  • Cyclamen
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lilies
  • Marijuana
  • Oleander
  • Sago Palm
  • Tulip/Narcissus bulbs
  • Yew
  • Do not panic. Stay calm and gather as much information as possible concerning the incident.
  • Determine to what poision the pet was exposed.
  • Determine the amount of the poison the pet ingested (or was exposed to by other means.
  • Try to determine the time the exposure occurred.
  • Note the time when signs of poisoning started.
  • Collect the poison container and packaging for reference.
  • Consult Animal Medical Center at 954-741-2776.