Friday, November 25, 2011

Toxic "Human" Foods

Readers: Thanksgiving is over.... Relatives entered and exited people's homes.... Traditional food--turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes--have been eaten. Devoured, really. Plus, in our family, are some non-traditional dishes: Green bean casserole, and corn pudding!! Yum!! Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, bring on the Christmas parties!! Yeah!! And if you are like me, who owns Rose, a Beagle mix with an incredible love affair for food, read this post. Because, seriously. You will be educated. And surprised!! In fact, read it even if you do not own a food-loving canine!!

(Taken from one of my HealthyPets e-mails!!)

There are various foods that are toxic to dogs. Some we
know about, however, there are many others we are not
aware of that are just as dangerous and poisonous to your
pet. Below is a list of common foods that are harmful to dogs.

Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound
that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.
After
their pet has eaten a large quantity of
chocolate, many pet owners assume their pet is unaffected. However, the signs of sickness may not be seen for several hours, with death following within twenty-four hours. Symptoms include staggering, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, fever, heart rate increase, arrhythmia, seizures, coma, death.
Cocoa powder
and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. A 10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a 250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Thus, a chocolate mud cake could be a real health risk for a small dog. Even licking a substantial part of the chocolate icing from a cake can make a dog unwell.
Semi-sweet
chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.

Mushroom toxicity does occur in dogs and it can be fatal if certain species of mushrooms are eaten. Amanita phalloides is the most commonly reported severely toxic species of mushroom in the US but other Amanita species are toxic. Symptoms include abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting diarrhea, convulsions, coma, death.

As few as a handful of raisins or grapes can make a dog ill; however, of the 10 cases reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), each dog ingested between 9 ounces and 2 pounds of grapes or raisins. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy.

Macadamia nuts are another concern, along with most other kinds of nuts. Their high phosphorus content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.

Baby foods can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs. Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.

Bones from fish can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system. (The same goes for turkey and chicken, as well!!)

Cat food is generally too high in protein and fats.

Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis.

Milk & dairy food: Some adult dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. (However, Rose has zero issues with dairy products!!) This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.

Raw Eggs contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.

Raw Fish can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly. (Raw, or undercooked salmon, steelhead and trout from the Northwest carries flukes that can cause Salmon Poisoning. According to one of my books: "It is not the fish itself that causes canine salmon poisoning but the presence of a bacteria--Neorickettsia helminthoeca--that lives in one of the salmon's internal parasites. This parasite, a fluke, travels throughout the fish's circulatory system, invading its muscles as well. When a dog eats uncooked fish, he ingests these flukes--and the pathogenic bacteria they contain. The flukes pass through the dog's intestinal tract, but the lethal bacteria remains behind, causing disease and often death." Eating small amounts of raw or undercooked salmon, steelhead and trout can kill your dog. Symptoms are slight fever, followed by a loss of appetite. Then higher fever, often reaching dangerous levels. Above 107 is considered a lethal temperature for canines. Even if they survive the 107 degree fever, worst, oft deadly symptoms include: Severe diarrhea and dehydration. Few dogs survive untreated.)
So keep this information in mind as you celebrate the Christmas season!!

2 comments:

Stacey said...

great post & there was a few I didn't actaully know about - such as the baby food, grapes and raisens!

Molly sounds just like your Rose in that she loves her food. Shows we really have to watch what we give them!

Raelyn said...

Stacey....
THANK-YOU for reading and commenting on such a LENGTHY blog post!! ;)