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Emergency Problems and Toxicities

Should your pet come in contact with a possible toxin, the first step is taking a quick survey of the potential poisons around your home. Many pet owners don’t realize that common household cleaners, foods, plants and medications can be harmful to cats and dogs.

If you find the item in question or think that your dog or cat could have had even brief access to a toxin, bring any packaging or product descriptions with you to the veterinarian to expedite the diagnostic process. Do not attempt to induce vomiting at home or self-administer any remedies unless directed by a veterinarian.

The next step is to CALL:


When dealing with emergency situations, the most important thing to remember is to remain calm. This will benefit you, your doctors and your pet and can make the process move much smoother.

Listed below are some of the most common toxins that we see at our hospital. While this list does not encompass every toxin, it is a good guide.

  • Chocolate

    Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is similar to caffeine.
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  • Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Chives

    Toxic to both cats, and dogs (especially the Japanese breeds).
    Read More
  • Marijuana

    This is the most frequent intoxicant that we see. Canine patients will readily ingest baked goods, joints, or get into a stash.
    Read More
  • Moldy Walnuts, Blue Cheese, Moldy Bread

    Moldy walnuts are a common intoxicant during the moist weather months in the North Valley.
    Read More
  • NSAIDS, Ibuprofen

    Ibuprofen is highly toxic to cats and dogs.
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  • Raisins, Grapes, Currents

    These produce an unknown toxin.
    Read More
  • Rodenticides

    Rodenticides contain anticoagulants which inhibit blood from clotting.
    Read More
  • Salmon Poisoning

    This is not a true toxicity.
    Read More
  • SnailBait

    This is a common toxicity especially seen in the spring, and summer.
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  • Xylitol

    This is an artificial sweetener.
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