Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Vicky Dorvee

Keep these off your pet’s plate


October 6, 2018

Vicky Dorvee

Veterinarians advise we keep an eye on what our pets put in their mouths.

We may think our furry family of dogs and cats operate well on their instincts, but when it comes to what they are willing to eat, they can easily go off track. Our own common sense isn’t always so sensible either.

Veterinarians Dr. Lise Cummings with Niwot Veterinary Care and Dr. Nancy Bureau, co-owner of Left Hand Animal Hospital, are first call responders for our pets and know from experience how easily our pets can get into a health scare after ingesting the wrong thing.

What behavior to watch for: Vomiting and diarrhea, excessive panting and thirst, seizures, tremors or lethargy, loss of coordination and incontinence.

What to do: Call the vet before leaving so they’re ready when you get to their office. If possible, bring in what you suspect your pet has consumed.

These are fine for us...but for Fido or Felix, they’re a big no!

Some of these substances, although not poisonous, can cause enough distress that your animal’s health is at risk.

Garlic, onions, shallots, and chives contain thiosulphate which damages red blood cells.

Xylitol found in chewing gums and baked goods can cause insulin levels to soar.

Alcohol depresses the central nervous system of animals.

Marijuana both in plant form and edibles, contains levels of THC (a psychoactive ingredient) that are too potent for pets. CBD oil and those products made specifically for pets are not of concern.

“We had a patient come in, just squirting pee everywhere. It was totally neurologic,” Dr. Cummings said. “But the owner was worried about admitting their dog had gotten into their marijuana.“ Testing for other causes like a brain tumor costs a lot of money, so be honest with your vet.

Chocolate — we love it and our dogs love it and will nose it out. The effect on your dog is dependent on their weight and the level and amount of cocoa consumed.

Dr. Cummings said, “People get on the internet and say, ‘Oh, I can just make my dog throw up with hydrogen peroxide.’ But they should know it can really damage their esophagus on the way up.”

Dairy products aren’t always safe for dogs and cats because many are lactose intolerant.

Grapes, raisins, cherries, and rhubarb are dose dependent, but overall are not good for your pet to feast on.

Gorging on fatty foods like bacon grease or too much peanut butter can cause gastrointestinal distress and pancreatitis.

Nutmeg in large doses can cause seizures.

Undercooked or raw meats may contain bacteria and parasites.

Raw eggs may contain salmonella and can cause a biotin deficiency. Cooked eggs are fine.

Animal bones can splinter and lodge in pets’ throats and intestinal tracts.

Macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts and other high fat nuts can cause stomach upset.

Dough with yeast will rise inside the warmth of a body and can cause a bloated and twisted stomach.

They eat that? Strangely, yes.

Lilies contain pollen which can cause cats’ kidneys to fail. Visit http://www.noliliesforcats.com/faq1.pml for more information.

Other Indoor and outdoor plants are tempting to dogs and cats. For a list of toxic and non-toxic plants, visit https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/s

“All plant bulbs are toxic if consumed,” Dr. Bureau said. “Puppies will dig up tulips and daffodils because they’re fun like a tennis ball. The leaves are less toxic than bulbs, but still a concern.”

Rotted or moldy food from trash or compost can cause tremors, fever, and can be fatal.

Rodent poisons come in three varieties; anticoagulant, neurotoxin and cholecalciferol.

“With the anticoagulant kind, we get them to barf, they go home and are fine,” Dr. Cummings said. “The other two don’t have an anecdote, so all we can do is offer supportive care and hopefully they live. People should make sure they use the more dog resistant types or a trap.”

Antifreeze is sweet, yummy, and poisonous.

Medicine (yours or too much of their own) can be lethal. Tylenol, Advil and Aleve are all bad for cats and dogs.

“Even though some things don’t taste good, dogs just say, ‘Hey, it’s here, why don’t I eat it?’” Dr. Bureau said.

Toys don’t play well inside your pet. Squeakers, fluff, thread, and string can obstruct intestines and stomachs. Some will pass through, but others will not and can wreak havoc.

“One dog over the course of time, had successfully passed fluff and parts of toys so his parents thought he passes what he eats all the time,” Dr. Bureau said. “He was six when he got sick and we pulled out about 13 squeakers in surgery.”

Tin foil, glass, plastic, cans, and other food packaging are great for recycling, but terrible for our pets’ guts.


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