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How Your Household’s Garbage & Toxins May Hurt or Even Kill Your Pet

September 27, 2010 by Maria-Elena Cloherty, DVM

A Perfect Beauty

Avoidable Toxicities Affecting Our Pets

Many are unaware of the dangers posed to our pets with the ingestion household garbage, including various toxins/bacteria, which can in turn cause raging infections, organ failure, and even death. One may detect a rapid and severe onset of abdominal pain, distention of the abdomen, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, or shivering. Yet, most don’t know that left untreated this condition may lead to shock, collapse, or permanent loss of a beloved pet.

Please read the two links below to learn of food toxins, and other potential sources of toxins in our home, such as plants and chemicals.

In yards, garages, or basement storage areas, pesticides, insecticides (including pet dips/shampoos), weed killers, fertilizers, compost, antifreeze, oil/gasoline, and other noxious substances need to be appropriately covered, placed in locked storage containers out of the reach of pets and younger family members. Most of these are neurotoxins which can lead to anxiousness, tremors, tiny pupils, excessive salivation, urination, defecation, vomiting and diarrhea, excessive excitability or depression, and death (if large amounts are ingested).

Another important category of intoxicants are pain relievers and medications. Pets will often find the packaging intriguing and ingest them. As an example, the ingestion of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory can lead to anemia and gastrointestinal ulcers. Aspirin (at higher doses), Ibuprofen (a.k.a. Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, and Medipren), and naproxen (a.k.a. Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn) will cause painful gastrointestinal problems. **Acetominophen should never be given to cats and dogs.** A pet having ingested Coumarin, either from owner’s medication, or as D-Con, a rodenticide, has their clotting abilities affected by this chemical, and with time they may bleed out and die, without appropriate and timely intervention by their veterinarian.

Should you suspect a pet has ingested any of the substances mentioned in this article or in the links, or if they have any of the listed symptoms please contact your veterinarian immediately. If you can bring a sample of the toxin and its packaging with you to the vet, it can provide invaluable assistance in the appropriate treatment and care for your pet.


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