Toxins & Poisons
Consult your vet for more details !!!!!!
Every year, by some estimates, about 10,000 dogs and cats are victims of accidental poisoning by automobile antifreeze. A pet does not have to drink a lot of antifreeze to be poisoned. Most brands of commercial antifreeze consist of 95 percent ethylene glycol, an extremely toxic chemical. Even a few licks of this sweet-tasting liquid can be fatal to a cat or dog. (Ethylene- glycol-based antifreeze is also extremely hazardous to children. A few ounces are lethal.) For a medium sized dog, ingestion of about 2 ounces (3-4 tablespoons ) is toxic. For cats, as little as 1/4 of an ounce (1-2 teaspoons) can be lethal. Antifreeze poisoning commonly occurs in spring and fall when car owners replace the old antifreeze with fresh antifreeze in their car radiators. However, poisoning can happen anytime, particularly when a car boils over or when a hose leaks, releasing the antifreeze. As mentioned above, this poisoning happens often to animals who are allowed to roam freely in their neighborhoods, but another high risk group are those dogs who are confined in garages and who may not always be provided with adequate fresh drinking water. These dogs may gain access to improperly or inadequately stored antifreeze or lick spilled or leaked antifreeze off the garage floor. If it is necessary to confine your pet(s) to your garage, make sure antifreeze containers are well secured and your animal has plenty of fresh water.
Another source of antifreeze are the decorative "snow globes" glassware. The liquid in the these displays contain 2% antifreeze and are very toxic.. I recently received of call of a young cat poisoned when ingesting some of the liquid from a shattered "snow globe".
Both cats and dog are attracted to the smell and taste of ethylene glycol. Therefore, when you or a member of your household changes antifreeze in the driveway, be sure to collect all of the waste coolant and properly dispose of it. And never leave a bucket of ethylene-glycol coolant unattended - even for a moment. Also remember that your car can leak coolant at any time. If you see a puddle of greenish-colored liquid in your driveway, flush the area with plenty of water and dont delay locating and fixing the leak. Another method of quick clean-up is to spread cat litter on the spill, clean up with rags (which are bagged immediately) and then rinse. Antifreeze will biodegrade in the environment, but it takes weeks or months to do so, so removing the spill is absolutely essential.
Antifreeze poisoning occurs in two stages: In the first stage, the ethylene glycol in the antifreeze causes a drunken appearance in the animal within about 30 minutes which may continue for several hours. After passing through stage 1, the animal appears to recover. Stage 2 begins when the dogs liver begins metabolizing the ethylene glycol, changing it into more toxic substances. Within 12 to 36 hours of ingestion, these metabolites have reached such a level that the dogs kidneys stop functioning, and the animal slips into a coma.
Getting the dog to a veterinarian is critical within the first 9-12 hours following ingestion. After that length of time, the liver will have already begun metabolizing the ethylene glycol into substances that cause kidney failure and ultimately death. I have been asked the question by several people-What should be done immediately care for my pet. Should I induce vomiting or give activated charcoal to my pet? These are very short term fixes and not a cure. The faster your pet is treated by a veterinarian the better the chances of recovery. Again, this poison is extremely toxic.
Another source of help is the National Poison Control Center, 800-548-2423.
Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include a drunken appearance including staggering, lack of coordination, and apparent disorientation and vomiting. The animal may appear listless and depressed. Because early signs of antifreeze poisoning often mimic signs of other illness, neither you or your veterinarian may suspect antifreeze poisoning until it is too late. Fortunately, in house lab tests performed by your veterinarian by assist in the diagnosis of antifreeze toxicity.
In our practice we had a tragic incident involving two pets. One dog ingested antifreeze and then vomited the product. The other dog then licked up the vomit and also developed the toxicity. By the time the owner recognized the seriousness of the situation, it was too late and both pets died. We also had a situation involving a household of three cats. The same situation occurred. But, fortunately, the owner recognized the problem and we were able to save two of the three pets. As, you can see, this is truly a horrible and tragic poison.
One step owners can take to prevent a potential tragedy from befalling their pets is to
use a less-toxic propylene-glycol-based antifreeze in the car. Propylene glycol, on the
other hand - although not entirely nontoxic - is considerably less toxic than ethylene
glycol. These products do provide an added margin of safety in the event of
accidental ingestion. However, it still can cause death if a large amount is ingested. In
addition, the metals in your cooling system that corrode or dissolve into your antifreeze
can also be harmful. For this reason, motorists should always exercise caution when using
any type of antifreeze product.
If your standard practice is to take your car to a mechanic for its winter preparations, be sure to ask specifically for a propylene-glycol-based antifreeze. (But be prepared to pay a little more.)
There are several nationally available propylene- glycol antifreezes on the market, including:
Sierra (Safe Brands Corp., 1-800-289-7234)
Sta-Clean (Sta-Clean Products, 1-800-825-3464
Prestone LowTox® Antifreeze/Coolant-available at most automotive stores and departments
Theobromine is a chemical that is chocolate. This chemical is a methylxanthine and is toxic to dogs especially smaller dogs due to their body size that can cause either illness or in some cases death. As little as 4 ounces of baking chocolate or 1 pound can be fatal if ingested by a dog weighing 10 pounds or less. The half life of Theobromine (the time it takes for humans to totally metabolize) is 2-3 hours. The half life for dogs for Theobromine is 17.5 hours.
Dogs do not excrete methylxanthines efficiently. When dogs ingest products containing
methylxanthines, the methylxanthines are absorbed by the intestines and go to liver. The liver will remove some of this and then will exit the liver as the blood will carry this to the right side of the heart. After the blood is pumped to this side it returns to the left side for circulating to the entire body. A portion of this is removed by the liver and will re-enter through the blood stream. It is then moves to the small intestine and is reabsorbed by the intestine and the cycle starts all over again. So each time this happens, this results in a removal of only a very small quantity of this toxic methylxanthine compounds.
The quantity of Theobromine in chocolate varies according to formulation. Sweet milk chocolate typically contains only 44 mg of Theobromine per ounce. Semi-sweet chocolate contains 150 mg of Theobromine per ounce. Baking chocolate contains an extremely high quantity of Theobromine , 390 per ounce. Only 3 ounces of baking chocolate can kill a 20 pound dog. Dogs that ingest Theobromine from ingested chocolate products absorb this clinically 2-4 hours after ingestion and will show symptoms of restlessness, panting, diarrhea and increased heart rate. Over time, the body temperature rises, arrhythmias of muscles become rigid and finally seizures and often death. Treatment involves decreasing the further absorption of theobromine from chocolate products and is very beneficial if the dog is seen within 2 hours of having ingested.
The breakdown for Theobromine and Chocolate in mg/oz:
Cocoa Bean Landscaping mulch: 300-1200
Cocoa Beans: 400-1500
Cocoa Powder: 400-550
Unsweetened Chocolate: 450
Semi-sweet Baking Powder (chips): 135-260
Milk Chocolate: 60
Hot Chocolate Beverage: 12
White Chocolate: 1
Treatment care that will be provided by your veterinarian includes
administration of intravenous needed for abnormalities and seizures and maintenance of
normal body temperature. Prognosis for dogs with chocolate toxicity is good if the animal
is treated by a veterinarian after having eaten a toxic dose of chocolate. Prognosis is
guarded if heart abnormalities, tremors, muscles rigidity or seizure if they develop. Dog
owners should be very aware of "Cocoa Bean Mulch" that is used in gardens. This
is a byproduct of the cocoa beans shells and has a much higher concentration of
Theobromine and caffeine. Due to the smell of chocolate that this mulch produces, dogs and
puppies are attracted to this mulch which looks like hulls. With these two combinations of
chemicals and with being concentrated, this speeds up the absorption if ingested and
readily speeds up symptoms that can be lethal without the pet owners awareness due to
producing symptoms of other onset diseases and illness. Pet owners should take their dogs
to their veterinarians if ingestion is suspected and seek medical treatment immediately.
The ASPCA Poison Control Center has recently listed Cocoa Bean Mulch as toxic hazard to
National On Line Animal Poison Control Center
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