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It’s the Love month!

Love is in the air for many of us, but sometimes the wrong kind of love can put our pets in danger!
The following are common toxins that are frequently seen during Valentine’s Day.
 Some common Toxins to pets:

• Lilies: frequently sold in Flower Shops and delivered for this special day. The toxin in this beautiful flower can be found in the petals, leaves, pollen or in the vase water. Lilies are extremely toxic to cats. They can cause acute kidney failure within one or two days of exposure. If not treated, death is likely. Ingestion of just one or two leaves or petals is enough to kill a cat. For dogs, usually just mild Gastrointestinal upset is seen. The signs of lily toxicity include:
o Salivation
o Vomiting
o Reduced appetite
o Lethargy

• Chocolate: How much chocolate is deadly?
The main toxic ingredient, theobromine is a chemical similar to caffeine but it’s highly toxic to both dogs and cats. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous as it contains more theobromine than the lighter chocolate.
White chocolate has very little theobromine and is not usually toxic.
The dose of chocolate is what depends on the toxic level to create harm.
If your pet only ingests a couple of small chocolate pieces it is unlikely that they will become infected. For milk chocolate, ingestion of 0.5 ounces per pound of the dog’s body weight may put dogs at risk.
Ingestions of 0.1 ounces of dark chocolate per pound of body weight may cause poisoning. Most ingestions of Bakers Chocolate are considered emergencies. Do to the large amount of fat in chocolate; some patients may develop pancreatitis after ingesting chocolate, baked or any other goods.

Signs of chocolate poisoning include:

o Mild to severe vomiting
o Diarrhea
o Excessive thirst and urination
o Agitation
o Increased and/or abnormal heart rate
o Seizures, tremors and collapse

• Chocolate covered raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. Grapes, currants and sultanas also fall into this category.
Not all dogs will develop kidney failure after eating grapes or raisins but since we do not know which dogs will be sensitive to these fruits they are best to be cause for concern and kept away from your pets. Even just a couple of grapes or raisins can cause an emergency situation with a small dog under 20 pounds. 

Signs of Grapes or Raisins toxicity include:

o Vomiting within hours of ingestion
o Within 1 to 4 days of ingestion dogs can develop increased urination, increased thirst, lethargy and lack of appetite.

• Chocolate covered Espresso Beans:
Typically covered with dark chocolate, these beans may be delicious Valentine’s morning for people but they are very dangerous to both dogs and cats.
They include large amounts of theobromine. Pets can be sensitive to the effects of both theobromine as well as caffeine. While one or two beans usually won’t cause a problem, larger amounts can cause death. So please keep your gourmet coffee bean bag high up and out of the reach of your dogs and cats!

The signs of Toxicity are the same as the above chocolate covered raisins.

• Plain and Chocolate covered Macadamia nuts: The poisoning is typically in dogs only and has not yet been reported in cats. The toxin in the macadamia nut has yet to be identified but the mechanism may involve motor neurons, muscle fibers and neurotransmitters.
Within 3 to 6 hours the dog may exhibit lethargy, vomiting, and hyperthermia.
Within 6 to 12 hours, hind end limb weakness, difficulty in walking, tremors and collapse may occur. There may also be signs of abdominal pain, lameness in one or all limbs, joint stiffness and very pale mucous membranes.
• Xylitol: A commonly used natural sugar substitute that can be found in just about every sweet goodie you can find. Gum, breath mints, candy, sugar free cake or muffin mixes, most baked goods, and even nicotine gum.
Xylitol may cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar as well as acute liver damage in dogs. So deadly that a 10 lb. dog who ingests just one piece of gum could be at risk for death.

Signs of Toxicity include:

o Within 10-15 minutes of ingestion, a drop in blood sugar (Hypoglycemia), loss of coordination, and vomiting.
o Collapse and Seizure may quickly follow. Rare occurrences have found that these symptoms sometimes are not seen for hours after ingestion.

Remember too that there are many other household toxicities.
• Human medications
• Flowers
• Fertilizers
• Pest Control products

So for this Valentine’s Day, let’s be extra careful in keeping our pet’s safe!

Thank you for taking the time out to notice these potential dangers in and around your home and for doing all you do in making sure your pet’s cannot reach any of them.

Thank you for your continued Support of the Az Pet Professionals! Arizona's Preferred Network of Pet Professionals! From all of us! We work for YOU!

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