Doggie No-No’s: Toxic Items around the House

Oct 05 2006

Unfortunately, toxic items can often be found in every room of the house! Common household cleaners (even the all-natural stuff), antifreeze, prescription and over-the-counter medicines (usually your dog does not just “take one”!) should ALWAYS be kept in drawers or cabinets not accessible to canine family members.
There are also some items that may surprise you!
Xylitol, a common all-natural sugar substitute found in certain sugar-free chewing gums (Trident for example), candies, baked goods and other products can potentially cause serious and even life-threatening problems for dogs. Signs to look for include a fairly sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures. These signs can develop quite rapidly, but if the item ingested has a low level of Xylitol, symptoms may be delayed as much as 12 hours from ingestion. If your dog ingests any product with Xylitol as an ingredient seek veterinary treatment immediately as xylitol ingestions (even small amounts) may be linked to the development of liver failure.
Cocoa bean shell mulch is becoming a popular landscaping product used by gardeners and homeowners because of it’s attractive odor. In small amounts, cocoa bean shell mulch consumption can cause signs similar to that of chocolate poisoning, including vomiting and diarrhea. In cases where very large amounts of mulch have been consumed, muscle tremors, seizures and death can occur. Unfortunately, most dogs find any type of organic material spread out on a lawn to be a delicacy, and therefore are at great risk for toxicity. Know what products your gardeners or family members are using on your lawn and avoid neighbor’s lawns when any fertilizer, manure, pesticide or any organic material is present. Your dog may not immediately present with obvious life-threatening signs even after ingesting large amounts of cocoa bean shell mulch. So seek veterinary attention immediately, irregardless of lack of symptoms, if you suspect your dog has ingested cocoa bean shell mulch.

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