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2011-01-20

Six poisons deadly to dogs

Special to the Courier Dr.jon@petplace.com

Toxins are a common - and potentially expensive - reason dog owners visit their veterinarians or emergency clinic. Below are listed six common household items that can kill dogs:
• Antifreeze - This is the most common deadly poison ingested by dogs and cats. Antifreeze has a sweet taste and dogs like it. Keep all antifreeze stored safely away out of your dog's reach. When adding antifreeze to your car, make sure to clean up any spills so your dog will not lick them up. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can kill a small dog.
• Mouse and rat baits - Several ingredients in these products are toxic. The most common one causes bleeding disorders that can be fatal. Make sure any baits that you use are safely out of your pet's reach.
• Slug bait - In the summer months, slugs come out and bait is used to kill them. The active ingredient is metaldehyde and it can cause uncontrollable seizures in dogs.
• Dog medications - Overdosing or accidental access to pet medications is a common cause of poisoning in dogs. If your pet accidentally gets anything he shouldn't, call your veterinarian. Early identification and treatment can save his life. Your vet may even recommend induced vomiting to get it out of his system as quickly as possible.
• Human medications - Dogs commonly gain access to human medications or are given these medications by a well-intentioned, but misinformed, owner. When human medication is given to a pet it is easy to give an overdose amount. Also, many human medications are toxic to dogs. Please don't give your dog anything without consulting with your veterinarian. Why chance it?
• Insecticides - Don't give your pet anything for fleas or ticks unless approved by your veterinarian. Some pets are sensitive to certain medications.
I hope these tips will help you keep your pet safe. In addition, make sure your dog has the best medical care possible just in case there is a problem.