Poisons and Toxins

Unfortunately, both dogs and cats will explore their environment by putting objects in their mouth, especially puppies and kittens.  However, there are many things around the house that can be poisonous to your pets.  Before getting any pet, have a good clean up of the house, garden and sheds to make sure that all poisons are safely out of harm’s way – best is to lock them away where animals cannot get to them.

For help with a possible poisoning:  Call the clinic on 8522 2055

For 24hr phone advice about a poison, you can also call the Poisons Information Line:  13 11 26

Animals can be poisoned by many things, including:

  • Rat bait
  • Snail bait (even the newer snail baits designed to be safe for pets using iron EDTA can be toxic in large amounts)
  • 1080 (baits laid for rabbits and rodents in National Parks and other areas)
  • Strychnine
  • Chocolate
  • Onion, leeks, garlic
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Avocado
  • Lily plants and flowers – toxic for cats
  • Oleander plants and flowers
  • Mushrooms
  • Algae – from stagnant water in lakes and dams
  • Caffeine
  • Xylitol (one of the artificial sweeteners) - be careful, this may also be found in some types of peanut butter, and in some muffins.
  • Prescription medications
  • Paracetamol
  • Cleaning products
  • Solvents
  • Insecticides
  • Pesticides
  • Petroleum-based products – petrol and oil
  • Lead – old paint, batteries, lead shot
  • Even compost and waste from the bin can cause an upset tummy!

It is important to seek veterinary advice immediately if you think your pet has eaten anything out of the ordinary.  DO NOT try to treat at home, since different poisons need very different treatments.  And don’t assume just because there are no signs, the animal didn’t eat it – some poisons won’t produce any signs until several days after eating, by which time your pet will need emergency treatment in hospital.

What do I do if I think my pet has eaten something?

Firstly, start with removing your pet from the environment.  Make sure your pet cannot eat any more of the product.

Then, gather up any packaging still around that will show what has been eaten.  We will need to know the active ingredient in the product eaten, so have the packet on hand when you call.  Also try to judge how much may have been eaten – if tablets have been eaten, get a quick count of how many are left and try to judge how many would have been in the bottle.

Then, call our clinic on 8522 2055 or the poisons information line on 13 11 26.

Early treatment is much more effective, and less expensive, than treatment after a delay.

Call your veterinary clinic if you have any suspicion your pet may have eaten something they shouldn’t!