Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tis the season.

Hi my friends!

This is the season for good food and lovely decorations. People decorate their homes with a tree, tinsel and pretty plants. They serve good meals, lots of cookies, and festive drinks, and also offer their canine and feline friends a taste of it, not realizing that it can be a poison to them. Today I would like to tell you about some of the things that can be a hazard to your best friend.

Let me start out by saying that candles and furry creatures don't mix. Many of bushy tails have caught on fire just by strolling past a lit candle. As festive it is to have real candles on the Christmas tree, just imagine the surprise when Ms. Kitty gets the urge to climb up the tree. Next thing you know, the fire department is knocking on your door and Christmas is over.

Speaking of Christmas trees, many of us canines and felines are intrigued by tinsel and shiny ornaments. If ingested, tinsel can cause an intestinal blockage in the same way as ribbons and rubber bands can. So, unless you want to spend an arm and a leg on a surgery to remove the blockage, keep those things away from your furry friends.

With the holidays comes good food, lots of cookies, and eggnog. But be aware, some foods can be poisonous to your pet. Here are some of the most important foods that should not be given to pets.

Chocolate: The theobromine in chocolate can cause seizures, coma and death in both, canines and felines.

Grapes and Raisins: They can cause severe kidney as well as gastrointestinal problems in dogs and cats.

Garlic and Onions: The sulfoxides and disulfides damage the Red Blood Cells and cause anemia in dogs and cats.

Nuts: Nuts have a high fat content and can lead to pancreatitis as well as gastrointestinal problems and muscle tremors especially in dogs.

Mushrooms: They can effect the kidneys, liver, and brain. If ingested in large amounts, mushrooms can cause shock symptoms and death. You should make sure there are no wild mushrooms growing in the back yard when Fido roams the yard.

Tomatoes: The oxalates in tomatoes cause gastrointestinal problems, seizures, and tremors mostly in cats.

Raw Potatoes: They have oxalates as well and cause the same problems in both, cats and dogs.

Avocado: Very dangerous to both, canine and feline. They can cause fluids to build up in the chest and heart and can lead to acute heart failure.

Xylitol: This is found in all sugar free products such as gum, candy, and some cookies. It is highly toxic to cats and dogs. When ingested, it causes the insulin in the body to drop to a very dangerous level and thus, lead to liver failure, brain damage, and death. Just 3 grams of Xylitol ingested by a 65 lb. dog can cause the insulin level to drop severely within 15 to 30 minutes and the damage is not reversible.

Caffeine and Alcohol: Both can be toxic to the liver and brain and can cause death in dogs and cats.

So please, keep this in mind when you share foods with your furry friends. Also be careful what you drop on the floor because most of us canines are like four legged vacuum cleaners. What's on the floor, is legally ours. That also goes for medications that you accidentally drop on the floor. Some human medications such as Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Decongestants, Cold Medicines, and Antidepressants can cause severe problems in both, canines and felines.

Another problem is tobacco. Be very careful not to leave cigarettes or cigarette buds on the table. Tobacco can cause severe damage to the nervous system. Only 15 cigarettes ingested orally by a human will lead to death. You can imagine how little it would take to do the same in a small cat or dog.

Common household products can be another hazard to us. Antifreeze, paint thinner, and drain cleaner when ingested, cause kidney and liver failure as well as neurological damage. Also be aware that toilet cleaner and pool and hot tub cleaners can cause problems with canines that like to drink out of the pool or the toilet.

Fertilizers and cocoa mulch not only cause gastrointestinal problems but can also lead to seizures, kidney failure, and death. You have to be especially careful with the cocoa mulch because it smells good to dogs. The same goes for rodent poison. It smells good so the rodents eat it but unfortunately, the poison smells good to cats and dogs as well. It causes gastrointestinal problems, neurological problems, and can lead to seizures and death when untreated. Ingesting a poisoned rodent can cause the same problems in a milder form.

There are also many plants that can cause mild to severe reactions in pets. Here is a long list of plants that should not be ingested by your furry friend. If you like to enjoy any of these plants, keep them out of reach, away from Fido and Ms. Kitty.

Air plant, Aloe vera, Alocasia, Amanita, Amaryllis, American yew, Apple seeds, Arum lily, Autumn crocus, Australian flame tree, Apricot pits, Asparagus fern, Azalea

Baby's breath, Balsam pear, Baneberry, Bayonet, Beech, Belladonna, Bird of paradise, Bishop's weed, Black laurel, Black locust, Bloodroot, Bluebonnet, Blue-green algae, Boxwood, Bracken fern, Broad beans, Broomcorn grass, Buckeye, Buckthorn, Buddhist pine, Bulb flowers, Burdock, Burning bush, Buttercup

Cacao, Cactus, Caladium, Calla lily, Camel bush, Candelabra tree, Cardinal, Castor bean, Ceriman, Chalice vine, Cherry, Chinaberry tree, Chinese evergreen, Christmas rose, Chrysanthemum, Cineria, Clematis, Cocklebur, Coffee bean, Coral plant, Cordatum, Coriaria, Coriander, Corncockle, Cornstalk plant, Corydalis, Cotton bush, Cowslip, Coyotillo, Crocus, Croton, Crown of thorns, Cutleaf, Cycads, Cyclamen

Daffodil, Daphne, Datura, Deadly amanita, Deadly nightshade, Death camus, Decentrea, Delphinium, Devil's ivy, Dieffenbachia, Drachaena palm, Dragon tree, Dumb cane, Dutchman's breeches

Easter lily, Eggplant, Elaine, Elderberry, Elephant's ear, Emerald feather, English ivy, English yew, Ergot, Eucalyptus, Euonymus, Evergreen

Ferns, False helleborne, False henbane, Felt plant, Fiddle leaf fig, Firethorn, Flame tree, Flax, Florida beauty, Four o'clock, Foxglove

Geranium, German ivy, Giant dumb cane, Glacier ivy, Ghostweed, Glottidium, Golden chain, Golden glow, Golden pothos, Gopher purge, Ground cherry

Heartland philodendron, Heliotrope, Hellebore, Hemlock, Henbane, Holly, Honeysuckle, Horse bean, Horse brush, Horse chestnut, Horsetail, Hurricane plant, Hyacinth, Hydrangea

Indian licorice, Indian rubber plant, Indian tobacco, Indian turnip, Inkberry, Iris, Ivy

Jack in the pulpit, Janet Craig dracaena, Japanese show lily, Jasmine, Java bean, Jerusalem cherry, Jessamine, Jimsonweed, Jonquil, Jungle trumpets, Juniper

Kalanchoe, Kentucky coffee tree

Lacy tree philodendron, Lantana, Larkspur, Laurel, Leucotho, Lily, Lily spider, Lily of the valley, Lima bean, Lobelia, Locoweed, Lords and ladies, Lupine

Madagascar dragon tree, Malanga, Mandrake, Marble tree, Marigold, Marijuana, Maternity plant, Mayapple, Meadow saffron, Mescal bean, Mexican breadfruit, Mexican poppy, Milk vetch, Milkweed, Mistletoe, Mock orange, Monkshood, Moonseed, Morning glory, Mother in law's tongue, Mountain laurel, Mushrooms

Narcissus, Navy bean, Needlepoint ivy, Nephytis, Nettles, Nightshade

Oak, Orleander, Onion, Oriental lily

Panda plant, Parsley, Peacy lily, Peach pits, Peires, Pencil tree, Peony, Periwinkle, Philodendron, Pimpernel, Pigweed, Pileweed, Plumosa fern, Poinciana, Poinsettia, Poison hemlock, Poison ivy, Poison oak, Pokeweed, Poppy, Potato, Pothos, Precatory, Primrose, Privet, Pyracantha

Rain tree, Ranuculus, Rape, Rattlebox, Rattlebush, Red emerald, Red maple, Red princess, Rhododendron, Rhubarb, Ribbon plant, Rosary peas, Rubber plant

Saddle leaf philodendron, Sago palm, Sandbox tree, Satin pothos, Scarlet runner, Schefflera, Scotch broom, Silver pothos, Skunk cabbage, Snowdrop, Snow on the mountain, Sorghum grass, Sorrel, Spindle tree, Spurges, Staggerweed, Star of Bethlehem, String of pearls, Striped dracaena, Sudan grass, Sweetheart ivy, Sweet pea

Tansy mustard, Tansy ragwort, Tiger lily, Tobacco, Tomato plant, Thornapple, Tree philodendron, Tropic snow dieffenbachia, Tulip, Tung tree

Vetch, Virginia bower, Virginia creeper

Water hemlock, Weeping fig, Wattle, White cedar, Wild call, Wisteria

Yam bean, Yews, Yellow jasmine

Oh boy, that sure was a long list. I think my human deserves some credit for typing it all for me. If you think your pet ingested any of these potentially poisonous substances, please seek veterinary care immediately or call the National Animal Poison Control Center's 24 hour hotline at 1-888-426-4435. You should also be familiar with the symptoms of poisoning. Detecting the signs of poisoning can save your pets life. Here is a list of the symptoms you should look out for:

  • mouth irritation
  • skin rash
  • lethargy
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lack of appetite
  • drooling
  • staggering
  • hallucinations causing over-reaction to sound or light
  • breathing difficulty
  • bleeding disorders
  • muscle tremor and rigidity
  • seizure
  • heart failure
  • kidney or liver problems
  • coma and death

If you find any or all of these signs, please seek help as soon as possible. If you would like to have more information on this subject, please visit the National Animal Poison Control Center website at .

Well my friends, by keeping your furry friends save and away from any potentially poisonous substances, the holiday season can be a wonderful time of the year for you and your pets. So stay save and enjoy.

Love and Peace,


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