Toxins and Puppies

Toxins and Puppies

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Our question this week was:

What are common toxins that could hurt my puppy?

Puppies are famous for their frisky and inquisitive nature, which often leads them to consume harmful items. Unfortunately, the average household contains many potentially dangerous substances that your dog can get into. The following are some of the common problems:

  • Pesticides, insecticides, (and fertilizers) are not harmful when applied according to directions or by a qualified lawn care service. However, pets may be primarily poisoned by contact with concentrated products. This can occur if the product is not stored properly or if too much is used on the lawn. Insecticides are particularly dangerous because they have a higher degree of toxicity.
  • Rodenticides. Products used to kill mice and rats are very toxic.
  • Prescription drugs. The container may be child-proof, but your dog may be persistent in chewing off the lid and getting to the pills inside. All drugs should be placed out of reach of dogs and children.
  • Over-the-counter medications. The same risks apply with OTC drugs. It is also important to remember that certain OTC drugs won't have the same effect on pets. (Aspirin, for instance, can be dangerous.)
  • Plants. Pets are infamous for their creative destruction of plants. For dogs, most grasses are non-toxic, while ingesting poinsettia stems and leaves may cause some stomach upset and vomiting.
  • Household products and cleaners. Household products and cleaners vary quite a bit in chemical makeup and toxicity. Soaps, detergents, shampoos, alcohols, petroleum distillates and acids are some common ingredients. They can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea or chemical burns, leading to organ damage.
  • Antifreeze is especially dangerous.

    If you suspect a poisoning, call your veterinarian immediately.

    Dr. Debra

    Our question this week came from Sarah K., from Nashville, TN.

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