It is never good to hear these words from a client – “I had no clue…that was toxic to my pet.”

UVHvets encourages all of you with pets or have visitors to your home with pets to take a few minutes to read this entry and check your cabinets!


Dangers at Home…

Most of us are aware of common toxins and poisons that can be deadly to our canine and feline friends. Antifreeze and rat poison to name a few. Unfortunately most of the pets we as veterinarians see for toxicosis often come from items in our homes that we don’t think of as harmful at all.

Grapes and Raisins
Even small amounts of either can result in severe toxicity. The substance that causes toxicity is not well understood but results sudden kidney failure in some dogs after ingestion. As of yet, there is no way to know which dogs will be affected excessively so grapes or raisins should never be given to any dog. Clinical signs are vomiting, lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, mouth ulcers and lack of urine production.

Macadamia nuts
The substance in macadamia nuts affects dogs and results in weakness, vomiting, depression, muscle tremors and elevated body temperature

This is an artificial sweetener most commonly used in sugar free gum. It is also found in many chewable vitamins, tooth pastes, cough medications and nut butters.
Xylitol causes life threatening low blood sugar often in just 10-15 minutes after ingestion. Large doses can result in acute liver failure. Signs to monitor for include severe weakness, collapse, vomiting, seizures, and coma or even death.

Over the counter pain medications (Naproxen, Tylenol, Ibuprofen)
While safe for us, even small amounts can be harmful or even deadly to dogs and cats. Just one extra strength Tylenol can be fatal if given to a cat.
In small doses, these medications result in vomiting, diarrhea and gastric ulcerations.
Larger doses cause kidney and liver failure.
It is very important to always ask a veterinarian before giving any over the counter medication.

Most species of lilies
Be very cautious of bringing bouquets of flowers home if you have cats. Lilies are very toxic to cats and just 2 or 3 petals, even drinking the vase water can result in kidney failure. Clinical signs include drooling, vomiting, lack of appetite and frequent urination.

Onions and Garlic
Ingestion of onions results in Heinz body anemia. With this process, the lifespan of the blood cell is greatly shortened resulting in anemia. Signs to monitor for include pale or bluish tint to the gums, weakness, rapid breathing, red colored urine.
This list is not all inclusive and it is always best to contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control center if you have any concerns about a possible toxin ingestion by one of your pets. Their website is You can also contact the Animal Poison Control hotline 24 hours a day for a small fee 888-426-4435
Help UVH spread awareness, share this blog highlighting common household toxins!! An ounce of prevention…
Thanks for reading and sharing!
Dr. Alisha Spivey
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