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Common pet poisons

Although there are many different drugs, plants, foods and household agents that can be poisonous to our pets, the ones which can commonly affect our animals are listed below:


·       Onions – (also to some degree garlic and chives) contain sulfur compounds which can irritate the gut and more seriously damage the red blood cells.

·       Human medications – be very careful with any medication you may use. For example, acetoaminophen (paracetamol) can be fatal , especially in cats.

·       Chocolate – Theobromine is found in chocolate and pets can be very sensitive to its effects. In addition to gut upsets, it can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizuring and even death!

·       Xylitol – this is often found in sugar-free chewing gum, sweets and mouthwashes and is toxic to pets, especially dogs, where it can lead to low blood sugar levels.

·       Grapes and raisins – These can lead to kidney failure and death in animals (more commonly dogs).

·       Nuts –especially Macadamia nuts can affect different systems in the body causing intestinal upsets, tremors, depression, weakness and stiffness. Toxicity is more common in dogs.

·       Lillies – all parts of this plant are toxic to cats and can cause irreversible kidney damage.

·       Caffeine – is often highly toxic to pets. It can cause similar symptoms as chocolate toxicity.

·       Alcohol – the effects are depending on the quantity of alcohol but in severe cases, it can lead to laboured breathing and death.

·       Avocado –contains a toxin called persin which can cause gut upsets. It is a lot more toxic when eaten by small pets or birds.

·       Marijuana – Effects can last for days causing drowsiness, slow breathing and heartbeat, depression and in severe cases, death.

·       All household detergents/chemicals, human medication, plants, insecticides, herbicides and rodenticides should be kept well away from pets.