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Top 10 People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

no-no-doggie-foodsChocolate, Macadamia nuts, avocados…these foods may sound delicious to you, but are actually quite dangerous to our animal companions. Our ASPCA nutrition experts have come up with a list of top 10 people foods that you should not feed your pet. If ingestion of any of these items should occur, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.      

 

1. Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine
These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.

2. Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

3. Avocado
The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions may even be fatal.

4. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. However, they can cause problems for your canine companion. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

5. Grapes & Raisins
Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.

6. Yeast Dough
Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

7. Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones
Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella [ital] and E. coli [ital] that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract. 

8. Xylitol
Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

9. Onions, Garlic, Chives
These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.  (The garlic argument is on-going.  Adding garlic powder to their food is a natural flea deterent among other things.  But no garlic cloves, chunks or even bits.)

10. Milk
Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

 

“Must” Resources For Every Pet Parent: 

Every Dog’s Legal Guide 

November 8, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Xylitol Warning For Dogs

True Story – 

 http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/xylitol.asp

Warning to all dog owners – pass this on to everyone you can.  Last Friday evening, I arrived home from work, fed Chloe, our 24 Lb. Dachshund, just as I normally do.  Ten minutes later I walked into the den just in time to see her head inside the pocket of Katie’s friend’s purse.  She had a guilty look on her face so I looked closer and saw a small package of sugar-free gum.  It contained Xylitol.  I remembered that I had recently read that

sugar-free gum can be deadly for dogs so I jumped on line  and looked to see if Xylitol was the ingredient.  I found and checked the first website (above) and it was on the list.  Next, I called our vet.  She said to bring her in immediately. 

Unfortunately, it was still rush hour and it took me almost 1/2 hour to get there.  Meanwhile, since t his was her first case, our vet found another website to figure out the treatment.  She took Chloe and said they would induce her to vomit, give her a charcoal drink to absorb the toxin (even though they don’t think it works) then they would start an iv with dextrose.  

The xylitol causes dogs to secrete insulin so their blood sugar drops very quickly.  The second thing that happens is liver failure.  If that happens, even with aggressive treatment, it can be difficult to save them.  She told us she would call us.  Almost two hours later, the vet called and said that contents of her stomach contained 2-3 gum wrappers and that her blood sugar had dropped from 90 to 59 in 30 minutes.  She wanted us to take Chloe to another hospital that has a critical care unit operating around the clock. We picked her up and took her there.

 They had us call the ASPCA poison control for a case number and for a donation, their doctors would direct Chloe’s doctor on treatment.  They would continue the IV, monitor her blood every other hour and then in 2 days tested her liver function.  She ended up with a central line in her jugular vein since the one in her leg collapsed, just as our regular vet had feared.  

Chloe spent almost the entire weekend in the critical care hospital.  After her blood sugar was stabilized, she came home yesterday.  They ran all the tests again before they released her and so far, no sign of liver damage.  Had I not seen her head in the purse, she probably would have died and we wouldn’t even have known why.  

Three vets told me this weekend, that they were amazed that I even knew about it since they are first learning about it too.  So I am sharing this with info about Xylitol and dogs with everyone.  It may save another life.  

Thanks to BJ at the AARP Community Dog Group!!

September 10, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pets, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment