Uncommonly Known Food Toxins

 In Pet Talk: In the News

Does your pet counter surf and look for any type of food scrap?  Many of our favorites foods are toxic to cats and dogs.  Most people are aware about chocolate, grapes, raisins and many chemicals such as anti-freeze, rat poison, and acetaminophen, etc.  A few others that are not a well known are macadamia nuts, xylitol, bread dough, onions and garlic.  

In dogs, macadamia nut ingestion symptoms included weakness in the legs, they appear to be in pain, have tremors and may develop a low grade fever.  

Xylitol is a low-caloric sweetener found in many baked goods, chewing gum and other items. It causes a severe drop in blood sugar levels in dogs and causes disorientation and seizures anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours after ingestion.  Large amounts of xylitol can cause liver failure and can be fatal.  

The live cultures in bread dough is what makes it dangerous.  When combined with the warm, moist environment of the stomach, it begins to expand and can cause restricted blood flow to the stomach and breathing issues.  As the yeast multiplies, it produces alcohol that can result in alcohol intoxication.  Symptoms include distended abdomen, disorientation and vomiting.

All types of onions and garlic can cause damage to both cat and dog red blood cells.  It may be unlikely for your pet to ingest a raw onion but you need to watch for exposure to concentrated forms such as onion soup powder, garlic powder or dehydrated onions. Symptoms in cats and dogs do not appear until 3-5 days after.  Watch for weakness and reluctancy to move or tiring easily after mild exercise.  The urine may be orange to dark red in color.  

If your pets are showing any of these symptoms please notify your veterinarian or call WVRC. For more information on toxicities or any other pet related issues, visit our Education Library.

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Dr. Beltz and Lake Mills Police Chief Selck discussing new K-9 unit and WVRC's donation