Jake's story is horrible but all too common. His owner thought he was just giving his Rottweiler a bone -- a chicken bone. The owner knew it wasn't the best thing to give Jake but didn't know why, and he certainly didn't think he was killing Jake. That's what happened, though. Over the next few days, Jake died a slow, painful death. The splintered chicken bones punctured the dog's gastrointestinal tract, causing deadly toxins to be released into his stomach. Jake became disoriented -- he wouldn't respond to his owner and he'd look around aimlessly. He also would regularly sit and, only using his front paws, spin around in one place. A short time later Jake succumbed.

This issue of The Healthy Dog includes a brief rundown of common and not-so-common household foods and products that, if given to your dog, can be deadly. And just in case you think turkey bones are safe, owner beware: turkey bones, like chicken bones, can be just as deadly if given to man's best friend.
 Fatty Meats
If you think the best way to a dog's heart is through food, think again. Foods high in fat -- such as the table scraps that we humans cut away from our meats -- can cause canine pancreatitis and gastroenteritis, serious and potentially fatal conditions. Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas can result in a complete loss of appetite, frequent vomiting, diarrhea that may contain blood, weakness and abdominal pain (apparent through whimpering and restlessness). The reactions can range from barely noticeable to a severe shock-like collapse that can result in death. These conditions can occur after raids on garbage cans, also. Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the stomach and intestinal linings and has similar symptoms. These cases often require hospitalization and fluid replacement.
Many table scraps also contain onion that can be toxic for a dog, especially smaller pooches. Onions can cause hemolytic anemia, a condition that destroys a dog's red blood cells, according to Dr. Kathy Michel of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. An onion-poisoned dog will become lethargic, develop breathing difficulties and will have pale gums (check around the teeth). Fortunately, the toxins will pass through the dog's system, but until then, he or she may need a blood transfusion. If you cook dog food at home, hold the onions.
It may seem like the best treat of all, but it can be deadly. All chocolate, with its caffeine and related chemical called the bromine, can raise your dog's heart rate to beat abnormally. It can cause seizures that will eventually lead to a coma. Baking or dark chocolate is the deadliest -- about nine times more toxic than milk chocolate. A chocolate-poisoned pooch will vomit, urinate more than usual, have diarrhea, and show hyperactivity.


Naturally nontoxic plants can still make your pet sick if the greenery has been sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers. Although it depends on the type of plant consumed by your dog, symptoms to look out for include breathing difficulties, convulsions, excessive salivation, gastroenteritis, skin rashes, stomach upset, swallowing difficulties, vomiting, and watery eyes and nose, according to the book, Are you Poisoning Your Pets? by Nina Anderson and Howard Peiper (Avery Publishing Group). Some of the deadliest plants and flowers include dieffenbachia, mistletoe, poinsettias, laurel, rhododendrons, azaleas, Daphne, lantanas, holly, delphiniums, foxglove, irises, lilies of the valley, amaryllis, morning glories, and daffodils. The bulbs of daffodils, narcissus, and jonquils trigger severe gastroenteritis; hyacinth bulbs cause trembling and convulsions. Avocado leaves and unripe stems, rhubarb leaves, spinach leaves and tomato vines, stems and leaves can also be harmful.

 Fleat Treatment Poisoning

Most pesticide chemicals in commercial flea repellents are fat-soluble and are stored in the fatty tissues of the body, primarily in the liver and in the nervous system. As these chemicals accumulate over time, they negatively affect nerves, hormones, and immunity. Symptoms to lookout for include anorexia, cancer, colic, convulsions, deformity of sexual organs, depression, diarrhea, foaming at the mouth, nausea, seizures, stiffness, vomiting and weakness, according to Anderson and Peiper.

Pyrethrum, a nontoxic insecticide made from chrysanthemum flowers, is found in many flea repellent products and is considered safe in its natural state. However, combine pyrethrum with chemical additives and you have a potentially dangerous environment for your dog. Chemical additives to look out for include diethyl toluamide (DEET), propoxur, diazinon, carbaryl, dichlorvos, and DDVP. Be forewarned: constant inhalation of DDVP, found in flea collars, can cause permanent damage to your dog's internal organs.
 Pet poison Helpline
Pet Poison Helpline

The Pet Poison Helpline is made up of a team of dedicated veterinary health professionals and toxicologists to help veterinarians and pet owners to treat potentially poisoned pets, 24 hours a day. Registering a poisoned pet with the Pet Poison Helpline costs just $35. This fee includes expert treatment advice for a variety of pet species including: dogs, cats, birds, small mammals and exotic pets. It also includes follow-up consultations.
1 Call Advice Direct UK
Aims to help animal owners, concerned about their animal's health, make the decision as to whether or not their animal requires veterinary assistance and the urgency of any help required.
UK: 0906 11 11 999
National Pet Care Information Line

This 24-hour pet information phone line provides free pre-recorded information on over 125 pet care topics, such as distemper, heartworm, behavioural problems, house training and more. This service is available to pet owners worldwide.
Puppy First Days
Puppy Dental Pain
When Dog Eats Bad Things
Puppy & Dog Vaccination
Choosing the Right Puppy Dog
Training a Puppy
Puppy Growth & Development
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