Top 7 Pet Poisons on the Fleurieu

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Riverport Veterinary Hospital
1 Avoca Street
SA 5214

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08 8555 5690

Victor Central Veterinary Clinic
35 Crozier Road
Victor Harbor
SA 5211

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08 7522 4300

Top 7 pet poisons on the Fleurieu.

My mind got ticking the other day as I read yet another list of the top 10 things that can be poisonous for your pets.  I mentally tallied up the numbers of poisonings that we see locally and found that it differed dramatically from most the information out there.  The other reason I started thinking about it was that I noticed a sign in one of our local reserves explaining that more rabbit bait (Pindone) had been spread in the area.  Thankfully this is not a big deal for your pets as Dr Alan describes in this video blog:




So here it is…my top 7 poisons that affect cats and dog on the Fleurieu Peninsula:

  1. RATBAIT – this is by far the most common poison that we see locally. There are loads of different brands and varieties of ratbait but they are all similar in the way that they work; that is they are anticoagulants.  Derived from Warfarin, they stop your cat or dog’s ability to produce clotting factors, which, as the name suggests, help their blood to clot normally.  Affected animals therefore have bleeding problems.  Thankfully, with the appropriate intervention, rat bait poisoning should never be fatal.  If your dog (cats can eat the stuff too but very rarely – they are smart like that) eats ratbait, ring us straight away and we will guide you through the treatment process, which goes a little something like this:
    1. Make him or her vomit (we can do that for you)
    2. Revisit 72 hours later for a blood test to check that his or her blood is clotting normally
    3. If there is an abnormality, treat with the antidote (Vitamin K1) until there is no longer a problem!
    4. Don’t believe any label that says “Pet Friendly"


      2.  GARBAGE POISONING – Maybe a slightly misleading name but a lot of dogs do in fact get this problem from eating garbage.  The most common source of garbage poisoning that we see is when a dog gets access to old food scraps (these are often under the house, left on the barbie, from a tipped-over bin….use your imagination and dogs will often find it).  Certain bacteria grow on these scraps and can produce a toxin that then affects your dog’s nervous system.  Patients generally start twitching and can progress to full body tremors and seizures.  If you are ever suspicious head straight in and ring us on the way as garbage poisoning can be fatal.


        3.  SNAIL BAIT POISONING – there are 2 types of snail bait but both can cause major problems in dogs and are potentially fatal.  Again, don’t believe the label that says the product is safe around dogs….it isn’t.  It doesn’t take much snail bait to cause a major problem in a pooch and there is no good at-home treatment so head straight in and let us know you are coming.  Depending on how much and how long ago the bait was ingested the treatment can be very intensive and there is a significant mortality rate. 


          4.  HUMAN DRUGS – Please don’t ever do this on purpose!  Sure, we use plenty of “human” drugs in our patients but always at the correct dose size and frequency.  Occasionally we will see a patient raid mum’s drug cupboard and have some serious issues.  Did you know a couple of Panadol can be enough to kill a cat?


            5.  INSECTICIDES – the most common culprit here is using a doggy flea product on a cat.  I have seen cats die from this in the past and let’s be honest, it’s an easy mistake to make.  Thankfully the more modern products have a higher safety margin but can still pose problems.


              6.  THE PATIENTS OWN MEDICATION! – Whether Fido raided the cupboard to find those yummy chewable pain killers or the husband accidentally gave the tablets twice a day instead of once, all medications can cause problems if too much is given.  Please be careful.


                7.  CHOCOLATE, AVOCADOS, MACADAMIAS, PLANTS, ONIONS (insert here many products that you find on easily googleable dog poison lists) – YES these and many more can all be toxic but in reality we rarely see them as a major problem in our practice.  We see many cases of sore bellies from chocolate overdose but rarely a true chocolate poisoning (which gives caffeine overdose type symptoms as you can read about in the newsletter).  Please avoid these products but it’s more important that you are aware of the common problems! 

                Until next time…

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