Chocolate Is No Sweet Treat! Watch Out for These 5 Common Household Poisons

Chocolate Is No Sweet Treat! Watch Out for These 5 Common Household Poisons

When pet proofing your home, remember that many common household items are poisonous to dogs and cats. Everything from a chocolate candy bar to a tipped bottle of Tylenol could make your pets seriously ill.

Our Troutdale veterinarian frequently treats dogs and cats for accidental poisonings. The best way to avoid a trip to the emergency vet is to keep these common household poisons away from your dogs and cats.

How to Prevent Common Household Veterinary Emergencies

Follow these tips to protect your pets:

#1: Chocolate. A few nibbles of chocolate candy may cause an upset stomach, but ingesting an entire bar of baker’s chocolate could pose a serious health threat to dogs of any size. Chocolate contains the chemical theobromine, which is a cardiac stimulant and diuretic. Ingesting highly concentrated chocolate (such as baker’s chocolate), can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, muscle twitching and arrhythmia.

#2: Antifreeze. Antifreeze may taste sweet to pets, but ingesting these chemicals will lead to near-certain death. Ethylene glycol is quickly absorbed by the body; pets that lick up antifreeze spills in the garage or driveway will need urgent care within 24-hours. Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include excessive thirst/urination, vomiting, seizures and disorientation.

#3: Over-the-counter medications. Keep that medicine cabinet locked! Even small doses of common medications, such as anti-inflammatories, can make your pet sick. A dropped pill or tablet may look like a treat to curious pets. If your pet ingests medication, contact our Troutdale veterinarian.

#4: Rodent poison. Bromethalin, the active ingredient in rat poison, is a leading poison for household pets. Ingesting Bromethalin causes a cerebral edema and severe neurological problems, including seizures, as may lead to death without immediate treatment.

#5: Table food. Dogs and cats are unable to tolerate many ingredients commonly found in our foods. These ingredients include garlic, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions and raisins. Eating onions, for example, can cause red blood to break down within the body, a painful and serious condition known as haemolytic anemia.

For a complete list of poisonous substances, please go to this website:

Has your pet ever needed veterinary care due to accidental poisoning?

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