Accidental poisoning refers to a situation where a pet is exposed to household or environmental toxins that make them sick and can even, in severe cases, cause death.  If you know or suspect that your pet has been exposed to a toxin, immediately call us (215-233-3958) or the Pet Poison Helpline (1-800-213-6680).  Remember to have the following in hand when calling:
  •  Your pet’s species, breed, sex, weight, and age
  •  Your pet’s symptoms
  •  The name of the poisoning agent (if known), the amount consumed and the time lapsed since exposure
  •  The actual packaging for the poisoning agent
The list below is a guide to common household toxins including house and garden plants and foods that are toxic to most animals. If your home contains any of these items, you need to keep them away from animals. For a more complete list of toxins, go to Pet Poison Helpline.

Aspirin and Pain Relievers

Aspirin and other pain relievers common in most homes can be poisonous to pets. When aspirin is prescribed for animals, the dosage must be strictly followed. Too much aspirin can lead to anemia and bleeding stomach ulcers. Ibuprofen and naproxen can cause painful gastrointestinal problems. Even one 200 mg ibuprofen tablet is toxic to a small dog.
Never give acetaminophen (Tylenol and the like) to a dog or cat. The drug produces abdominal pain in dogs and affects the blood oxygen levels in cats, producing severe depression. Just two extra-strength tables within 24 hours can kill a small pet.
Symptoms of acetaminophen poisoning in cats appear in as little as one to two hours and include excessive salivation, paw and facial swelling, depression, and ash-gray gums. In dogs, watch for poor appetite,vomiting, depression, and abdominal pain. High doses can be fatal.

Lawn and Garden Pesticides

Many lawn and garden pesticides are neurologically poisonous to pets. These include insecticidal aerosols, dips, and certain shampoo products. Additionally, using a flea control product that is intended for dogs on a cat can also result in poisoning and perhaps even death.  Read label istructions carefully.
Symptoms of toxicity include apprehension, excessive salivation, urination and defecation, tremors, seizures, hyper-excitability, depression and pinpoint pupils. If sufficient neurological toxin has been ingested, sudden death may be the only sign.

Rat and Mouse Poisons

Coumarins (D-Con) are rat and mouse poisons that affect the blood’s ability to clot. Mice that ingest this poison essentially bleed to death. Your pets can be affected the same way, even if they eat a mouse that has been poisoned.
Symptoms of poisoning include labored breathing; poor appetite, nosebleeds, bloody urine or feces and pinpoint hemorrhages of the gums. If you observe any of these symptoms, contact us immediately.

Cardiovascular Toxins

  • Avocado (leaves, seeds, stem, fruit, skin) to birds and pocket pets
  • Azalea (entire rhododendron family)
  • Bleeding heart
  • Castor bean
  • Foxglove (Digitalis)
  • Japanese pieris
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lily-of-the-valley
  • Mistletoe berries
  • Mountain laurel Oleander
  • Hyacinth bulbs
  • Hydrangea
  • Rosary Pea
  • Tobacco Products Yew

Gastrointestinal Toxins

  • Avocado (leaves, seeds, stem, fruit, skin) to dogs
  • Amaryllis bulb
  • Azalea (entire rhododendron family)
  • Bleeding heart
  • Buckeye caffeine castor bean
  • Chocolate
  • Choke cherry, unripe berries
  • Chrysanthemum (natural source of pyrethrins)
  • Crocus bulb, delphinium, larkspur, monkshood
  • Eggplant
  • Jimson weed
  • Lupine species
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Marijuana (Cannabis)
  • Morning glory
  • Moldy foods
  • Tobacco products
  • Potato (leaves and stem)
  • Tomatoes (leaves and stem)

Kidney/Organ Failure Toxins

  • Alcohol (all beverages, ethanol, methanol, isopropyl)
  • Amanita mushrooms
  • Anthurium
  • Anti-freeze
  • Asiatic lily
  • Begonia
  • Calla lily
  • Castor beans
  • Day lily
  • Elephant’s ear
  • Easter lily
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit
  • Lantana
  • Oak
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Scheffelera
  • Shamrock
  • Stargazer lily

Neurological Toxins

  • Alcohol (all beverages, ethanol, methanol, isopropyl)
  • Amaryllis bulb
  • Azalea (entire rhododendron family)
  • Bleeding heart
  • Buckeye Caffeine Castor bean
  • Chocolate
  • Choke cherry, unripe berries
  • Chrysanthemum (natural source of pyrethrins)
  • Crocus bulb Delphinium, larkspur, monkshood
  • Eggplant
  • Jimson weed
  • Lupine species
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Marijuana (Cannabis)
  • Morning glory
  • Moldy foods
  • Tobacco products
  • Potato (leaves and stem)
  • Tomatoes (leaves and stem)

Toxins that affect the blood

  • Onions
  • Garlic

Prevention

  • Properly dispose of and store all pesticide containers up and out of sight of your pets. Make sure lids are on tightly and that containers are undamaged.
  • Use cords or locking lids on garbage cans. Use a heavy frame to prevent knock-over.
  • Keep pets off lawns sprayed with chemicals. Ask your lawn care company for information on drying time and compounds used. Wash your pets’ feet with mild soap and water if exposed to chemical lawn treatments.
  • Keep your pets out of vegetable and flower gardens
  • Encase compost piles or use commercially made containers.
  • Never assume that a human drug is appropriate to give an animal, unless a veterinarian instructs you to use it.
  • Keep all plants listed above out of reach of your pets.