I'm an animal lover, dogs and cats are my favorite. Growing up I always had a pet dog or cat. I can't tell you how many times I have shared my candy (including chocolate) and food with my fur baby. Unbeknownst to me, I was playing Russian Rullette with their life. Until I read the following article, I never realized just how many foods, plants and medications are harmful to my fur babies.
HAMSTEAD DACHSHUND SAVED FROM ONION OVERDOSE
"People food" can pose fatal risks to families' furry friends
Rommel, a dachsund belonging to the Prince family, had a close call after eating an onion.
By Ben SteelmanBen.Steelman@StarNewsOnline.com
Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 2:30 p.m.
It was a warm summer weekend, so Scott Prince of Hampstead and his wife invited friends over to their back yard for a barbecue.
"We grilled us some kebabs," Prince said.
A great time was had by all - until one of the kebabs landed on the ground. The Princes' 2 1/2-year-old, 15-pound dachshund, Rommel, rushed in and gobbled down a roasted onion.
Big mistake: In no time, the dog was deathly ill. The Princes had to rush Rommel to the Animal Emergency and Trauma Hospital of Wilmington.
This story ends happily, Rommel made a total recovery. To do so, however, the dog spent several days at the emergency hospital and at Topsail Animal Hospital. Meanwhile, a quick Internet search showed the Princes they were lucky.
Onions are extremely toxic to dogs in any form: raw, cooked, powdered or dehydrated. Onions contain a chemical called thiosulphate which is harmless to people; however, dogs (and cats) lack the ability to digest it. In a dog's body, it can cause red blood cells to rupture, leading to a potentially life-threatening form of anemia. Eating a little pizza with onions, or a bit of onion might not be harmful, since thiosulphate's effects are dose-dependent. Eat enough, however, and the animal might soon show vomiting and diarrhea.
The Princes had no idea that onions were potentially dangerous - and they aren't alone. Many pet owners don't recognize that their kitchens and medicine chests contain dozens of everyday ingredients that might be fatal to cats or dogs.
Consider, for example, sugar-free gum. Many commercial brands of gum, and some candies, contain an artificial sweetener called Xylitol. It's safe for humans, but in dogs, Xylitol can cause a dangerous surge in insulin. Just 3 grams of Xylitol can kill a 65-pound dog, according to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Meghan Tayloe, a veterinarian with Highsmith Animal Hospital in Wilmington, said a number of clients had brought in dogs with Xylitol poisoning in the past few months. Dogs can be saved if treated in time, but treatments will likely involve an overnight hospitalization and an infusion of intravenous fluids.
Lots of people know that chocolate is bad for dogs and cats; it contains a chemical, theobromine, which can overstimulate a dog's heart or cause an irregular heartbeat. Again, the effects are dose-dependent; generally, a large dog will have to eat more than 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate to be affected, but small dogs might die after eating as little as 4 ounces. (Cocoa powder and cooking chocolates are more toxic.)
Not everyone, however, realizes that grapes and raisins are bad for dogs, Tayloe said. The fruit causes kidney failure for reasons that are not clearly understood; however, as little as a single serving of raisins can be dangerous, according to the Animal Poison Control Center.
Macadamia nuts can lead to muscle spasms or paralysis; symptoms have been reported with as few as six kernels, according to veterinary pathologist Dr. Ross McKenzie.
Large quantities of salt can lead to an imbalance in a dog's electrolytes, Dr. Tayloe said.
Fortunately, since icy roads are rarely iced in this area, salt poisoning is not too much of a threat.
Human medicines can also be a threat to your pet. Acetaminaphen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is especially deadly for cats, Dr. Tayloe said. Vitamins may contribute to iron toxicity in dogs, and some children's vitamins might contain Xylitol.
The ASPCA has created a list of 101 things that could be harmful to your pet dog or cat. Here is a list of the foods and plants that you should make sure your dog or cat avoids eating. A complete list can be obtained from the ASPCA or your local vets office.
HARMFUL FOODS THAT YOUR PET SHOULD AVOID
*Chocolate (all forms)
*Coffee (all forms)
*Onions and onion powder
*Moldy or spoiled foods
*Gum, candies or any food sweetened with Xylitol
*Raw/Uncooked Meat, Eggs and Bones
*Raw yeast dough
HARMFUL PLANTS THAT YOUR PET SHOULD AVOID
*Bird of Paradise
*Bittersweet (American and European)
*Gold Dust Dracaena
*Lilies (all Lilium species)
*Lily of the Valley
*Precatory Bean (rosary pea)
When one of our fur babies get sick we want so much to make them feel better. Sometimes without thinking we give our fur babies human medications to "try" to ease their pain or symptoms. Medications that are safe for humans, these same medications are toxic to dogs and cats.
HARMFUL MEDICATIONS THAT YOUR PET SHOULD AVOID
*Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (eg. Motrin, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc...)
*Acetaminophen (eg. Tylenol)
*Cold and flu medications
Protect your pets like you would your child. Pet proof your home. Keep foods, medications, household cleaners, pest insectisides and other sharp or small objects out of your fur baby's reach. By taking these simple precautions, your fur baby will be a part of your family for many years.
For more http://www.aspca.org/
Animal Poison Control phone number (888) 426-4435
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