Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Foods and Plants that are Poisonous to Dogs

The prospective dog owner plans ahead for their new dog. The seasoned dog owner knows that not everything can be planned for. But it is possible to plan ahead for a very serious and common emergency - poisonous hazards for dogs.

There are many toxic foods and plants for dogs. All of the toxins that affect dogs are too numerous to mention in an article so it is best to research anything you aren't sure about. Ask your vet or check with an animal organization like the ASPCA.

Some Inside Plants Poisonous to Dogs

    * Aloe Vera
    * Caladium
    * Chrysanthemum
    * Dumbcane
    * Elephant's Ear
    * Emerald Fern
    * Hyacinth
    * Philodendron
    * Weeping Fig
    * Yew

Some Outside Plants Poisonous to Dogs

    * Azaleas
    * Daffodils
    * Foxglove
    * Ivy
    * Morning Glory
    * Nightshade
    * Oak
    * Green Potato
    * Rhododendrum
    * Wisteria

Human Foods That Poison Pets

    * Avocado: All parts are toxic to dogs
    * Chocolate: Contains Theobromine, a cardiac stimulant which can be fatal to dogs
    * Fruit Pits and Seeds: Most contain cyanide
    * Garlic: Contains Thiosulphate, though a small amount, so a lot would have to be ingested to be toxic. Keep in mind, it builds up in the system
    * Grapes: Affects a dog's kidneys
    * Macadamia Nuts: Affects the nervous system
    * Mushrooms: Affect the nervous system, kidneys and heart
    * Nutmeg: Can cause seizures and central nervous system damage
    * Onions: Contains same toxin as garlic, though in much larger amounts
    * Raisins: Same as grapes
    * Sugar-Free Foods: These contain Xylitol, which can cause liver failure in dog
    * Tomatoes, Potatoes and Rhubarb: Parts of these contain oxalates, which can be toxic to dogs

Holiday Hazards For Dogs

The holidays are a very hectic time for dogs and dog owners alike and it's easy to miss some of the plants and foods poisonous to dogs specific to that time.

    * Christmas: Many of the plants used for Christmas decorating are toxic to dogs, including Holly, Mistletoe and Poinsettias. It's best to find safe substitutes.
    * Easter: Lilies are highly toxic to dogs, as are Tulips.
    * Fourth of July: Alcohol can be toxic to dogs so during your BBQs, do keep the beer to yourself.
    * Halloween: We all know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs but excessive sugar from any source can be as well.
    * Thanksgiving: Trim that turkey well and keep the gravy for the humans. Too much fat intake, especially over a short period of time, can be toxic.

General Signs Of Poisoning

Though there can be signs that are specific to each toxin, the most common are:

    * Abdominal Pain (your dog may whine and his stomach will be tender to the touch)
    * Coma
    * Convulsions
    * Diarrhea
    * Drooling
    * Irregular Heartbeat
    * Labored Breathing
    * Lethargy
    * Swollen Limbs
    * Vomiting

Immediate Treatment of a Poisoned Pet

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms or even if you just suspect he ingested something toxic, call a pet poison hotline such as the ASPCA (1-888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Hotline (1-800-213-6180). Your local ASPCA might also have a hotline.

If possible, have someone simultaneously call your vet or the emergency vet. They can tell you what to do immediately and prepare for your immediate arrival.

There are home remedies out there such as charcoal and sodium sulphate but it is best to get professional advice before administering these.

An Ounce Of Prevention

Clean House: The first thing to do is take an inventory of all plants in your house. Remove all plants that you know are hazards for dogs as well as those that you aren't sure about. Also, check your cupboards for toxic foods and place them high up with the cupboard securely closed.

Keep a List and Check It Often: Keep a list of toxic foods and plants for dogs. Be sure to check back regularly with your vet and online sources for the most up-to-date information. Some good resources are the ASPCA, the FDA, and the Humane Society. Also, keep a list of a pet poison hotline, you vet's number and an emergency vet number by the phone at all times.

A Dog-Safe Home: It can seem daunting when you consider how many food and plant items can be hazards for dogs but with a little preparation and diligence, you can have a dog-safe house, inside and out.

Garlic & Onion: causes anemia

Though treated as a health food and often taken in supplement form by humans, garlic (along with its alliaceae cousins onions and leeks) is toxic-sometimes deadly-for pets, with reactions ranging from stomach damage to acute dermatitis to asthmatic attacks. Pets By Nature reports the story of a Pennsylvania woman who lost her Newfoundland to garlic poisoning: “Within two weeks of feeding a popular garlic supplement available at most pet stores and over the Internet, her Newfoundland developed a bleeding ulcer and perforated intestine.” The dog did not survive.

Grapes & Raisins:– kidney failure While not as toxic as members of the onion family, consumption of grapes and raisins can cause vomiting, dehydration and, in large quantities, kidney failure. The exact toxin present in grapes is not known, but scientists have established that both commercially and privately cultivated grapes, as well as raisins, present a risk.

Avocado: (fruit, pit, and plant) – toxic, causes breathing difficulties and pancreatitis.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), avocado leaves, fruit, seeds and bark contain a toxic substance called Persin, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal unpleasantness in dogs. While a medium-sized dog would have to consume a substantial quantity of avocado (picture a big bowl of guacamole) to become seriously ill, even a little bit is enough to cause an upset tummy.

Macadamia Nuts: Not widely consumed outside of Hawaii, macadamia nuts pose a stealth risk to canine health. The nuts can cause macadamia nut toxicosis, resulting in soreness, stiffness, and listlessness, according to Working Dog Magazine. The condition usually passes in 48 hours, but can lead to shock in severe cases.

Nutmeg: causes seizures, tremors and death

This popular spice, commonly used to season cakes, vegetables and even lasagna, should never be found on your dog’s dinner plate. Nutmeg, which has mild hallucinogenic properties, can cause seizures, tremors, central nervous system problems in dogs. In severe cases, shock and death have been reported.

Tomatoes – “tremors and heart arrhythmias”
Caffeine – causes “vomiting, restlessness, heart palpitations” and death
Diet products – drop in blood sugar
Macadamia nuts – muscle tremor, weakness and paralysis
Walnuts - poisonous
Fruit pips, seeds – poisonous since it contains cyanide
Salt – dog may develop bloating due to too much drinking
Ham and bacon – pancreatitis
Liver (raw or uncooked)- Vitamin A deficiency
Wild mushrooms – poisonous causing liver and kidney damage other
abdominal discomfort and death
Raw egg whites – biotin depletion
Cooked bones – Destroy dogs internal organs
Vegetables – Dogs cannot digest vegetables
Dairy food - pancreatitis, gas and diarrhea

Source: http://www.lacetoleather.com/fataltodogs.html

Chocolate - seizures, coma and death
Fatty foods – pancreatitis
Grapes – poisonous, acute kidney failure
Cocoa Mulch - seizures, coma and death (like chocolate)
Turkey – causes pancreatitis

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Grapes,-Nuts,-and-Your-Dogs-Health----Food s-that-Fido-should-Avoid&id=20315

Alcoholic drinks – coma and death
Baby food – toxic, result to nutritional deficiencies
Fish and Poultry Bones – causes laceration of digestive system
Cat Food - high in fat, causes pancreatitis
Citrus oil extracts – vomiting
Hops – seizures and deaths
Marijuana – depression and heart rate changes
Mushrooms – toxic, causes shock and death
Persimmons – “intestinal obstruction and enteritis”
Tobacco – causes heart rate changes and death
Yeast dough - rupture to the stomach or intestines

Source: http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/health/dietno.htm

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