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Top 10 Canine Toxins: Part II

Posted December 18, 2014 in Dog Toxins & Poisons

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Dr. Justine Lee's specialty is pet poison prevention, and in this blog she discusses some of the most dangerous toxins for dogs. For more from Dr. Lee, find her on Facebook!

This week, it's National Poison Prevention Week, marking over five decades of safer homes and saved lives… for both the two-legged and the four-legged! Last week, we tackled the five common canine toxicants in Part 1. In today’s blog, we’ll cover the remaining five, including insect bait stations, cold and allergy medications, antidepressants, xylitol, and acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Top 10 canine toxicants:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Mouse and rat poisons (rodenticides)
  3. Vitamins and minerals
  4. NSAIDs
  5. Cardiac medications
  6. Insect bait stations
  7. Cold and allergy medications 
  8. Antidepressants
  9. Xylitol
  10. Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)

Insect bait stations
You know those little plastic bait stations that you have around the house, sitting in the corners of your floor? Unfortunately, both dogs and ants like to get into the bait, thanks to the bait attractant inside (typically peanut butter-based). Thankfully, these ant and roach bait stations are rarely toxic, but they are a common cause for calls to Pet Poison Helpline (an animal poison control center based out of Minneapolis, MN) due to frequent ingestion by dogs. (Cats typically just bat these bait stations around and play with them, but rarely ever chew them up). Thankfully, these bait stations have a wide margin of safety and are minimally toxic, as the active ingredient is often a low-concentration of insecticides that are commonly used in veterinary medicine. The plastic on the bait station is more of a problem, as it can result in gastrointestinal (GI) signs or potentially foreign body obstruction (FBO), when ingested in large amounts. When in doubt, put them in places where your dog can’t get into them (e.g., behind the stove or refrigerator).

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Justine has more than 18 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a board-certified emergency critical care veterinary specialist and toxicologist as well as the CEO and founder of Vetgirl. She is also a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.