This week I’m going to talk about 3 common “toxicosis” in pets. By the way, “toxicosis” is a fancy word for poisonous things!
-Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., aspirin,acetaminophen, ibuprofen) are all toxic to dogs and especially cats. Acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol) toxicity is the most common drug toxicity in cats. Cats are poisoned by as little as a 1/2 tablet. Cats and dogs will develop liver failure and cats often will have severe issues with their red blood cells. Aspirin and ibuprofen can cause gastrointestinal upset and/or ulceration and kidney and liver damage.
-Chocolate can cause acute gastroenteritis, neurological, and cardiac toxicosis. Believe it or not, 1/4 ounce of baking chocolate or 2 ounces of milk chocolate per kilogram of body weight is a potential lethal dosage in dogs. One pound of milk chocolate or 4 ounces of baking chocolate could be lethal to a 16 pound dog.
-Rodenticide anticoagulant poisoning is another common toxicosis seen in small animal medicine. Many poisonous baits are sold over the counter and used in homes. Anticoagulant rodenticides cause a blood clotting disorder by reducing vitamin k1 dependent clotting factors in the circulation. Common clinical signs include anemia with active bleeding into the chest and abdominal cavity. Increased clotting tests confirm the diagnosis. These patients are hospitalized, treated with vitamin k1 and supportive therapy, including blood and plasma transfusions to correct their reduced clotting factors.
These are but three of many possible toxicosis. If a question arises with your own pet please call your regular veterinarian, your local emergency clinic, and/or the toll free poison control center (1-800-222-1222).