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Many household items and human foods can be DANGEROUS if eaten by your dog or cat. Even the smallest amount of some items listed below can cause a severe reaction and in some cases, death. Not all dogs and cats have the same reaction, but it is important to be aware of what is potentially toxic:


Chocolate – anything containing cocoa or chocolate should be avoided. Large quantities can cause coma and death, while smaller quantities can cause gut problems including diarrhoea and vomiting.


Xylitol (sugar substitute in sugar free gum and low fat lollies/products) – even small amounts can cause critical hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) leading to liver failure. If ingested you will notice weakness, vomiting, ataxia (wobbly walking) and depression.


Grapes or Raisins – causes acute renal failure. Not all dogs are sensitive, but those that are only need to eat a small amount to become seriously ill. They show signs including vomiting and diarrhoea, followed by weakness, loss of appetite and polydipsia (excessive thirst).


Macadamia nuts – causes ataxia, depression, muscle tremors, hyperthermia (fever) and weakness.


Cane toads – if licked or ingested causes salivation, staggering, ataxia, vomiting and seizures. Wash the mouth out immediately and wipe gums whilst contacting a vet.


Garlic and onions – causes a condition called “Heinz body” anaemia (breakdown of red blood cells). You may notice any or all of the following signs: vomiting, diarrhoea, discoloured urine and weakness associated with pale gums.


Lily flowers – toxic to cats and causes renal failure. Sudden onset vomiting is the main sign with depression and loss of appetite, followed by polydipsia and lethargy.


Antifreeze – aka ethylene glycol poisoning. Ingestion causes kidney failure, if not treated immediately can result in severe permanent kidney damage. Signs include ataxia, your pet may appear “drunk” and uncoordinated.


Rat poisons – the following ingredients are present in most commercial rat baits, and ALL are toxic: warfarin, fumarin, diphacinone, bromadiolone, bromethalin, cholecalciferol or vitamin D. Signs may not be immediately evident, it can take up to three days after ingestion for your pet to be affected. This does NOT mean that it’s not an emergency. If treatment is immediate we can prevent critical bleeding. Rat baits stop the coagulation/clotting of blood so you will observe nose bleeds, blood in urine or stool, blood in vomit, sudden weakness, coughing and/or breathing difficulties, depression, lethargy and fever.


Pyrethrins – are chemicals toxic to CATS only, used in many dog flea and tick products such as shampoos, sprays, and spot-ons eg ADVANTIX. The effects include excessive salivation (frothing at the mouth) ataxia, depression, lethargy, seizures, hyperthermia and death.


ANY of these is classed as an EMERGENCY and requires immediate veterinary attention.

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