Many people indulge dogs by feeding them table scraps now and then. Dogs are also experts in sniffing out smelly, tasty food lying around and quickly gulping it down before you can snatch it away. So knowing what foods are toxic to dogs is helpful in preventing an accidental poisoning If you suspect your dog has ingested a toxic food, seek veterinary attention immediately.
Xylitol - is a sugar-free sweetener most often found in sugarless chewing gum and candy. It can also be found in toothpaste, baked goods and some diet foods. For dogs it is toxic as it stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, resulting in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure. As few as 2 pieces of gum can cause hypoglycemia in a 20 pound (9 kg) dog. A pack of gum can cause liver damage. Signs of toxicity can occur within 30 to 60 minutes.
Symptoms: vomiting, lethargy, weakness, drunken gait, collapse and seizures.
Possible Outcomes: hypoglycemia, liver failure, permanent liver damage, death.
Action: Fast action required. Take your pet to a vet or emergency clinic immediately. The vet may induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage. The dog will need to be treated intravenously with dextrose (sugar) and monitored closely for several days. If treated early enough, many dogs improve with supportive care, though liver damage can be permanent.
Baking Soda, baking powder - large quantities need to be ingested for toxic effect (relative to a dog's size). Typically, these compounds release gases when they react with moisture and heat (as in your dog's stomach). This reaction can lead to electrolyte abnormalities (low potassium, low calcium and/or high sodium), muscle spasms and /or congestive heart failure. Fortunately, dogs do not generally find these types of leavening agents very appetizing.
Symptoms: muscle spasms and/or congestive heart failure.
Possible Outcomes: muscle convulsions, congestive heart failure.
Action: If you believe your dog has consumed a toxic quantity take your pet to a vet for care.
Nutmeg - can cause tremors, seizures and death. Nutmeg causes damage to the dog's central nervous system. The exact quantities to be ingested to cause severe reaction is unknown, but generally speaking, large quantities would need to be ingested (factoring in size of the dog in relation to amount). However some dogs may be more senstive to the ingredient than others. It is unknown what compound is toxic. If left untreated, dog poisoning from nutmeg can be fatal.
Symptoms: tremors, muscle spasms and seizures.
Possible Outcomes: severely ill, death.
Action: if your dog ingests a large amount monitor your pet and if in doubt or the dog evinces any symptoms take your pet to the vet.
Salt - eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination in a dog and, although rare, can lead to sodium ion poisoning. Sodium ion poisoning restricts the amount of water and oxygen in the body. When a dog is diagnosed with epilepsy without a known cause, the reason could be salt.
Symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures, kidney failure. It may even cause death.
Action: Take your dog to the vet. Depending on the severity of the poisoning, the dog may be given an antibiotic and anti-emetic drug to stop seizures. Intravenous therapy to increase the flow of oxygen and flush the high salt content from the blood may also be administered.
Raw Yeast/Uncooked Yeast Dough - when uncooked it produces ethanol, like alcohol.
Symptoms: sedation, depression, lethargy, weakness, drunken gait and hypothermia.
Possible Outcomes: liver failure, coma, seizures and death.
Action: Fast intervention needed. Take pet as soon as possible to vet or emergency clinic. The vet will treat with aggressive supportive care with fluid therapy and medications.
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