Pet Medical Library

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If you have an emergency please call 802-888-7777. Here you can find some answers and information regarding common questions that are encountered by the average pet owner.

Poisonous Foods

Eventually most dogs (and sometimes cats) will eat something that is poisonous to them, but completely harmless to us. Their bodies and digestive systems are much different than ours and cannot handle some common foods.

As with all poisons, the amount ingested and the size of your pet play important roles. In general, the smaller the amount eaten and the larger the animal the less danger your pet is in. Here are 5 common foods that are poisonous to animals.

1) Chocolate (especially dark)
2) Grapes/raisins
3) Garlic/onions
4) Xylitol (synthetic sweetener found commonly in sugarless gum)
5) Alcoholic beverages
There are other foods that are dangerous to animals, these are just the top 5 common foods. The safest food for your pet is the food specially formulated for your specific species. We do not recommend feeding your pet table scraps. Please see our links page for more information.

***Note: If you are concerned that your pet has ingested a dangerous amount of a poisonous food please call us immediately.***

Antifreeze

Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is extraordinarily poisonous to both humans and our pets. A very small amount can be very dangerous to any pet. Antifreeze is especially difficult because it both smells and tastes sweet. If you believe your pet has ingested any amount of antifreeze please call immediately.

Quills

Unfortunately many dogs will have a nasty encounter with a porcupine sometime in their lifetime. This often results in many painful quills around the snout and chest. As an owner, you do have the option of pulling them yourself with pliers however this will be extremely painful for your dog.

If you do decide to remove them yourself, pull the quills straight out otherwise you risk breaking them off under the skin, which can result in infection. Quills are barbed and will be very difficult to remove. In most cases, it is advisable to bring your dog to our clinic and have them removed here. We can administer a mild anesthetic, which will calm your dog and make the removal process much less painful.

Fleas and Ticks

These nasty pests are quite common to our area and can be harmful to your pet. Flea bites are very irritating to your pet’s skin and will cause them to scratch and gnaw at the affected areas, which can result in infection. If you notice your pet scratching more than usual, there is a good chance they have fleas.

Ticks are also harmful because they commonly cause Lyme disease, which can be dangerous if left untreated. If you do find a tick on your pet, pinch it off as close to the skin as possible making sure to remove the head. Ticks are commonly found in tall grasses and forests so if your dog or cat spends lots of time in these areas, please inspect your pet on a regular basis. The best defense against both of these pests is prevention.