PET POISONING
by By NICOLE SOURS LARSON | San Diego Pets
Published - 10/15/10 - 05:24 PM | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Debbie Wakabayashi got an unwelcome surprise recently when the family Labrador-beagle, Zoey, ingested sago palm seeds at their Sorrento Valley home. Zoey was treated in time to recover, but pet lovers are urged to become familiar with possibly highly-toxic plants around the home to avoid these kinds of accidents. 	COURTESY PHOTO
Debbie Wakabayashi got an unwelcome surprise recently when the family Labrador-beagle, Zoey, ingested sago palm seeds at their Sorrento Valley home. Zoey was treated in time to recover, but pet lovers are urged to become familiar with possibly highly-toxic plants around the home to avoid these kinds of accidents. COURTESY PHOTO
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Debbie Wakabayashi didn’t know what her dog, Zoey, a Labrador-beagle cross, had eaten when she pulled a red seed fragment from the canine’s mouth. When Zoey vomited violently 20 minutes later, Wakabayashi’s husband did a quick Internet search and determined the dog had eaten a sago palm seed. All parts of these cycads are highly toxic to dogs.

A call to Veterinary Specialty Hospital (VSH) in Sorrento Valley resulted in a mad dash to the emergency room and four days in the intensive-care unit for Zoey, who was lucky to have survived the accident. Poisonous also to cats and children — but especially attractive to dogs — sago palms are responsible for a 70 percent mortality rate or greater in dogs that ingest it, primarily because of liver damage.

Now, Wakabayashi’s mission is to educate people about the dangers of sago palms. (Debbie Wakabayashi is the owner of Salmon Paws animal treats.)

For cats, lilies of many varieties lead toxic plant lists, said Dr. Monica Clare, DVM, an emergency/critical-care specialist at VSH. For those whose cats enjoy eating plants, she advises keeping lilies away because they cause kidney failure and death.

Many other plants are also poisonous to cats and dogs.

Life-saving treatment may be available with a quick trip to the veterinary ER, as happened with Zoey.

Clare said other leading toxic substances for pets include:

• products made with sugar replacement Xylitol, such as sugar-free gum and candy

• snail bait

• (dogs) grapes, raisins and chocolate, which potentially can cause kidney failure

• (cats) antifreeze, which can also cause

kidney failure

• a wide range of human medications which pets play with and ingest.

Clare recommends that pet owners visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ poison control center website and familiarize themselves with their lists of toxic household and garden products and plants.

“The quicker they act, the better the prognosis,” Clare said.

If a pet owner suspects their pet has eaten something toxic, Clare recommends calling the ASPCA poison control center at (888) 426-4435, the Pet Poison Helpline at (800) 213-6680 or the VSH at (858) 875-7500 for an opinion about toxicity.

For information about pet poisoning and lists of toxic and non-toxic plants, visit www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/ or www.petpoisonhelpline.com/
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