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Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm

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Toxic Substances

Look out for naughty dogs and cats sneaking little treats over the festive period - certain substances are dangerous to their health.

Chocolate affects the cardiovascular system. It contains theobromine which dogs and cats cannot digest and is toxic. There is a dose range of how much chocolate a dog or cat can eat before it is toxic, with dark and bakers chocolate being the worst. Cats tend not to eat chocolate unless coerced, however dogs will wolf it down given half a chance! If your furry friend has eaten any chocolate you should contact the clinic.

Raisins and grapes are toxic to both cats and dogs, causing kidney failure. It can take a couple of days for the effects to be seen and it is not dose dependant, meaning varying quantities could be toxic (depending on each animal) and there is no way for us to tell how much this quantity is before it's too late. Keep your pets away from things like Christmas pudding, cake, mince pies, chocolate or just plain old packets of raisins.

Onions (including shallots, leeks and chives) are toxic to dogs and cats because they make the red blood cells more likely to rupture. This will cause anaemia, which in turn will cause a lot of other problems. If the red blood cells rupture they will obviously be unable to carry oxygen around the body, causing a higher breathing rate, which in turn will cause a high heart rate. Evidence of the effects of onions can be delayed up to 2 weeks, so even if your pet seems fine at the time, please seek medical advice.

Garlic is 5 times worse than onions in its toxic potency, so again, if you suspect your cat or dog may have eaten it, please seek medical treatment immediately.  Onions and garlic can be found in stuffing, soup, stews and gravy to name but a few.

Small and cooked bones, especially from poultry can fragment into pieces with every sharp edges when chewed by dogs and cats. If swallowed these can then become stuck in the digestive tract and may require surgery to remove. Please take care when giving these to your pet.

If you are in any way concerned that your pet may have consumed something toxic, please contact the clinic immediately to seek medical advice.


Category: Small Animals