8 Toxins for Dogs

March 4th, 2016

Toxic_substance_graphicMany pet owners are aware that alcohol and chocolate present significant health hazards for dogs. These are not the only health hazards, though. So what else are toxins for dogs?

1. Aloe Vera Plants: Aloe contains a toxin (called Saponins) which can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, or tremors.

2. Azalea: This colorful flowering shrub can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, coma, low blood pressure, central nervous system depression, cardiovascular collapse, and death.

3. Poppy Plant Leaves: They contain an alkaloid compound that can cause loss of appetite, sedation, drunken walking, coma, slowed breathing, slowed heart rate, dilated pupils, and pinpoint pupils in dogs only.

4. Grapes and Raisins: Every dog’s tolerance level is different, but once they’ve ingested toxic levels, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal drinking and urination, lethargy, loss of appetite, kidney failure, halitosis, dehydration

5. Avocado: The pit of the avocado is a hazard – it can be swallowed whole by dogs and become a foreign body obstruction in their digestive tract.

6. Fruit Pits and Seeds: The pits in cherries, apricots, and peaches, and the seeds in apples, all contain cyanide—a toxin which prevents blood from carrying oxygen throughout the body and which can cause mild to moderate toxicity. Other symptoms include red and swollen gums, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting, and shock.

7. Acetaminophen: If Tylenol is ingested, it can cause lethargy, swelling face/paws, difficulty breathing, brown/blue gums, vomiting, loss of appetite, black tarry stool, liver failure, jaundice, and death.

8. Wild Mushrooms: Some of the types of mushroom known to be toxic are Amanita, Galerina, and Lepiota mushrooms, and can cause nausea, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, drunken walking, depression, tremors, seizures, and organ failure.

If you know or suspect that your dog has eaten one of these toxins, seek immediate medical care. Poison control hotlines can provide direction to your veterinarian on the appropriate course of action to take. The two hotlines we most highly recommend are:

  • Pet Poison Hotline: 855-764-7661 / $49 consultation fee
  • ASPCA poison control hotline: 888-426-4435 / $65 consultation fee