Household Pet Hazards
- Ant baits: These contain boric acid which is toxic to dogs if eaten in a large amount. Ant baits have a sweet smell and taste to attract ants but it also appears to attract dogs.
- Antifreeze (ethylene glycol): Antifreeze is a common cause of poisoning in small animals. Dogs will seek out antifreeze as they find its smell and taste appealing. The signs of antifreeze poisoning has three phases:
- Phase 1 includes a drunken appearance which occurs within 1 hour of ingestion.
- Phase 2 is heart failure which occurs within 12-24 hours of ingestion.
- Phase 3 is renal failure, vomiting, depression, renal pain, hypothermia, coma and deat
- Fertilisers: Fertiliser products generally contain varying amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) compounds. They may be in liquid, granular or solid form and contain additives such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Since fertilisers are usually a combination of ingredients, the effects of ingestion may vary. In general, they cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal irritation which may present signs such as vomiting, diarrhoea, hypersalivation and abdominal pain. Symptoms can be more severe if a larger amount is ingested and they may also be caustic, causing irritation of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Lead: Lead is not a common toxilogical problem but it may occur from ingestion of lead-containing dust or paint when grooming their contaminated coat. The signs of chronic, low level, lead poisoning include vomiting, abdominal pain, anorexia and diarrhoea while the acute signs are convulsions, blindness and tremors.
- Rodenticides (rat or mouse bait): These are a common cause of dog poisoning. Most rodent poisons use anti-coagulants that kill the animals by causing uncontrollable bleeding. These baits are designed to attract animals so consider the use of them very carefully and try to use alternatives where possible. Signs of rodenticide ingestion appear one to four days after ingestion, they include depression, weakness, coughing and staggering. Most people don’t realise that eating a poisoned rodent can also poison your dog.
- Insecticides: These usually contain organophosphates and carbonates which are highly toxic to dogs. Signs of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhoea, hypersalivation, muscle tremors and seizures.
- Molluscacides (snail and slug bait): Molluscacides come in a variety of forms and may be mixed with other toxins. Ingestion can be fatal and there is no antidote. The effects of ingestion include anxiety, elevated heart and respiratory rates, uncoordination, severe muscle tremors and death.
Plants Toxic to Dogs
Keep Your Dog Away From These
A number of plants are poisonous to dogs. Consumption of these plants can cause a range of symptoms from vomiting to serious illness and even death in some cases.
Generally, dogs will stay away from plants that will harm them but sometimes curiosity and boredom get the better of them and they might nibble on your plants.
Below is a list of the more common household plants that are toxic to dogs. If a plant you have in your garden is not listed here it does not mean that it is not toxic to dogs. For a more comprehensive list of both toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs, visit the ASPCA website where you should be able to find the plant in question among those listed. The Vets’ Library also has information on toxins for dogs.
- Autumn Crocus
- Black Locust
- Bleeding Heart
- Castor Bean
- Cherries (Wild and Cultivated)
- Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
- Elephant Ear
- Golden Chain
- Jack In The Pulpit
- Jimson Weed (Thorn Apple)
- Lantana Camara (Red Sage)
- Lily of the Valley
- Oak Trees
- Poison Hemlock
- Rosary Pea
- Star of Bethlehem
- Water Hemlock
This list of toxic plants for dogs was gathered from the Cornell University – Department of Animal Science website.
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Enfield Veterinary Hospital has been serving the pet community for longer than any other vet in the South West of Sydney including the suburbs of Enfield, Strathfield, Strathfield South, Homebush, Burwood, Croydon, Croydon Park, Concord, Ashfield, Belfield, Campsie, Greenacre and the surrounding areas of the greater Inner West of Sydney. We have been part of the local landscape for almost 40 years. One of our partners, Dr Catherine Brett, has been caring for pets of the community for over 20 years.