Summer Pet Poisons 2017-08-07T14:25:29+00:00
Summer Pet Poisons

Summer is finally here, and with that comes a myriad of fun outdoor activities along with home and garden projects. While summer is meant for relaxing with friends picnicking, watching fireworks, and cleaning up and readying yards and gardens for the growing season, it’s potentially fraught with toxic exposure to your pets!

SEE SUMMER TOXINS

Pet Poison Helpline is a 24/7 animal poison control service available for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet, with any type of poisoning. Normally $49 per incident, with AKC Reunite you can plan ahead and subscribe your pet to this life-saving service for only $15 for the lifetime of your pet. Should your pet ingest something potentially poisonous, contact AKC Reunite at 800-252-7894 and we will verify your membership and connect you to a toxicology expert to help you and your pet FAST.

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HEAT AND HUMIDITY

While not poisonous substances, heat and humidity from summer weather can be deadly to pets since most pets don’t perspire like humans. Instead, they use their lungs to get rid of excess heat. As the ambient temperature and humidity rise, their ability to cool in this manner fails and they suffer from heat stroke.

Common signs of heat stroke include rapid heart rate, heavy and noisy breathing, dazed appearance, glazed eyes, drooling or vomiting, and collapse. If your pet shows any of these signs bathe him with cool, not cold, water and seek immediate veterinary care.

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OUTDOOR BARBECUES

Barbecues are an age-old tradition during the summer with rich savory meats, seasonal corn-on-the-cob and sweet desserts potentially made with sugar free Xylitol (very harmful to pets). Dogs would love to take part too, but unbeknownst to many pet owners, these common barbecue foods can make dogs sick or can form a severe foreign body in the dog’s intestines.

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GRAPES OR RAISINS

Grapes or raisins can present significant concerns when dogs ingest them. Although the mechanism of action is not clearly understood at this time, grapes can result in anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially severe acute renal failure.

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FIRECRACKERS

Many pets are frightened by the noise from fireworks and should be kept in a safe, quiet environment when fireworks are used. Some pets, however, seem to enjoy the commotion and physically chase or chew on fireworks. Depending on the product, this can result in thermal or chemical burns to the paws, mouth, face, and gastrointestinal tract or other problems such as bone marrow depression and kidney failure.

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SALT WATER TOXICITY

If your dog loves to play on the ocean beach, heed caution. Dogs don’t realize that salt water is dangerous, and excessive intake can result in severe hypernatremia, or salt poisoning. While initial signs of hypernatremia include vomiting and diarrhea, salt poisoning can progress quickly to neurologic signs like walking drunk, seizures, progressive depression, and ultimately, severe brain swelling. Hypernatremia needs to be treated very carefully with IV fluids by your veterinarian.

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BLUE-GREEN ALGAE

Growth of toxic algae can be found in both fresh and salt water throughout the warm regions of the world. Blue-green algae becomes concerning when algae accumulates on the surface of the water during hot, dry weather. Affected water may have the appearance of pea soup because of the thick layers of algae on the surface.

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FLEA AND TICK PRODUCTS

Take the time to read the product label before applying topical flea and tick products to pets, especially cats. There are a number of “spot on” products on the market labeled “for use in dogs only”. While safe when used according to package directions, inappropriate use of these products on cats can result in illness and death.

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COMPOST BINS OR PILES

While we applaud you for composting, make sure to do so appropriately – your compost shouldn’t contain any dairy or meat products, and should always be fenced off for the sake of your pets and wildlife. These piles of decomposing and decaying organic matter and molding food products have the potential to contain tremorgenic mycotoxins, which are toxic to both pets and wildlife. Even small amounts ingested can result in clinical signs within 30 minutes to several hours.

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BAITS

Slug and snail baits are commonly used on the West coast and in warm-weather conditions, and are available in a variety of forms (pellets, granular, powder, and liquid) and toxic to all animals.

Surprisingly, most veterinary professionals aren’t very familiar with mole and gopher baits, which typically contain zinc phosphide. Other types may contain bromethalin. Neither of these active ingredients have an antidote and both can result in rapidly developing, life-threatening symptoms.

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