Pet Toxins

Mar 24, 2018

It is that time of year again when everyone is doing some sort of spring cleaning. We are getting rid of items form our kitchen, bathroom and garage. Of course, our fur babies love to get into what ever they are able to.  There are a lot of items around the house that can be very poisonous to our pets. It  seems like this time of year we at least receive a call once to twice a week from a client asking if what their pet just ingested is poisonous.  The following is a list of the most common household toxins.

Alkaline Products (drain openers, automatic dis-washing detergents, alkaline batteries, toilet bowel cleaners and swimming pool cleaners):
Look at the pH in these agents if it is greater than 11 then they have the potential of causing corrosive injury.  Clinical signs might not be immediate. It could take up to 12 hours for tissue damage to occur.  Acute signs are depression, salivating, oral inflammation and or ulceration, vomiting and decreased appetite.

If minted 1983 and after, they contain 99.2% zinc and 0.8% copper.  Zinc if ingested can cause intravasular hemolysis. The most common clinical signs are depression, anorexia, vomiting, hemoglobimuria, diarrhea and collapse .

Polyurethane Adhesives (gorilla glue, elmers probon polyurethane adhesive):
These are expanding wood glues. These glues do have the potential to cause a gastric foreign body.

This is used in sugar-free products like gum, candy.  If ingested, xylitol causes hypoglycemia. Clinical signs are vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, depression, seizures and coma.

Macadamia Nuts:
If a dog eats these, clinical signs can develop within 12 hours.  Your dog might exhibit weakness, vomiting, ataxia, tremors, transient paresis and hyperthermia.

The most dangerous type of mothball is napthalene. Sometimes it can only take one mothball to cause toxicity.  The most common clinical signs are vomiting, methemoglobinemia, heinz body anemia, hemolysis, hemoglobinuria and  seizures.

Bread Dough:
When an animal eats this, the heat of the body causes the dough to rise in the stomach. Clinical signs include abdominal pain, bloat, vomiting, ataxia, depression.

Tobacco Products:
Signs develop very quickly within 15 to 45 minutes. Clinical signs include excitation, tachypena, salivation, emesis, diarrhea, twitching, tachycardia, shallow respiration, collapse and coma.


It  contains theobromine and caffeine which are both methylaxnthines. The amount varies depending on the type of chocolate. Methylaxnithines can cause CNS stimulation, tachycardia, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea,polyuria, polyhdiipsia seizures.

Moldy Food:
The mold could cause tremors and seizures.

There are three solutions of antifreeze on the market : methanol, ethylene glycol and propylene glycol.  Ethylene glycol is the most toxic out of the three. These products can be found in windshield washer fluid.  Clinical signs can be seen within 1 to 6 hours. Clinical signs can include: vomiting, depression, ataxia, weakness, tachypnea, polyuria, and polydipsia. Within 36 hours acute renal failure can occur.

Please remember to keep any chemical up an away from your pets like you would for a child. If your pet does get into any of these products or any other products that you are unsure are toxic, please seek medical attention immediately at Hillcrest Animal Hospital. If you have any questions or concerns please call us at 864-967-7387.

Dr. Ashlie Hill