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Top 10 Toxins of Dogs and Cats

by Dr. Chris

April 24, 2011 Dogs and cats can get access to lots of toxins around the house fairly easily. That is why it is a good idea to pet proof your house. Here is a list of the top 10 toxins of dogs and cats according to the Pet Poison Hotline. If you think your pet might have eaten something toxic you can call them at: 1-800-213-6680.


1. Anti-Depressants (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.)

Many people take anti-depressant medications. The most common ones being Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, and Zoloft. While some of these drugs are used in smaller amounts in veterinary medicine, pets who get into their owner’s medicine cabinet tend to eat several pills leading to an overdose. Signs of toxicity in dogs and cats include seizures, vomiting, tremors and diarrhea.

2. Sleep Aids (Ambien, Lunestra, etc.)

While these sleep aids like Ambien and Lunestra might cause sleepiness in people, quite a few dogs experience the opposite effect. These dogs end up getting very excited, and may appear hyperactive, agitated, pant, and have tremors.

3. Amphetamines (Adderall, Dexedrine, etc.)

People with Attention Deficient Disorder (ADD) or ADHD are commonly placed on amphetamines to help them concentrate better. Unfortunately for dogs, the lethal dose of these drugs is quite low.

4. Skin Toxins

One common way many dogs are exposed to toxins is through their skin. The most common ones of these include Efudex, Adrucil, and Fluroplex. These are anti-cancer medications that some people may be using.

5. NSAIDS (Advil, Aleve, etc.)

NSAIDS like ibuprofen in the form of Advil, Aleve, and Motrin can be toxic to dogs in varying amounts depending on the concentration of the pills. Before giving your dog any medications make sure you read: Dog Pain Relief.

6. Xylitol

Xylitol is used as a sugar free sweetener in many foods and candies. Unfortunately this is very toxic to dogs and results in low blood sugar levels.

7. Batteries

Some dogs love to bite and chew on batteries. Unfortunately these are filled with caustic acid that can lead to burns in their mouths and stomach linings.

8. Duraflame Logs

Duraflame and other fire starter logs are made of wax and sawdust. When your dog chews on these this material it can get caught in the gut causing an obstruction that might need to be surgically removed.

9. Petroleum Products

Gasoline, diesel fuel, wood stains are all petroleum products found around the house and garage. These can be very toxic to dogs and often result in lung damage as well.

10. Blood and Bone Meal

As you might imagine blood and bone meal is very tempting for dogs to eat. It is normally used in the yard as a fertilizer and as wildlife repellent. Dogs that eat this normally end up with pancreatitis and possibly even an intestinal obstruction.

You can prevent your dogs and cats from getting into these toxins simply by making sure you place these items out of your pet’s reach or by storing them behind a locked cabinet.

To learn more about pet proofing your house read: Pet Poisoning Prevention Tips

Also be sure to read: Pet First Aid Help

To read more blog posts go here: Veterinary Blog

To sign up for my newsletter go here: Veterinary Newsletter

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