Poisons Advice

Pet poisons

Unfortunately, a common part of veterinary work is dealing with patients who appear to have been poisoned in some way. There are a lot of products – food and otherwise – that can cause poisoning, so if you have any doubt about something your pet may have ingested or come into contact with, please do not hesitate to call us at the practice, or alternatively there is the Pet Poisons Helpline (charged service) on 01202 509000 (link below)


Common food poisons are (not an exhaustive list):

- Chocolate

- Alliums e.g. onions, garlic, chives

- Grapes/raisins

- Alcohol

- Caffeine

- Xylitol

- Bread dough

- Mouldy food

- Macadamia nuts

- Avocados

Poisonings can occur for different reasons.

- Inhaled poisons, such as chemical fumes/noxious gases/smoke etc would typically show themselves with coughing, dribbling, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness or coma.

- Swallowed poisons, e.g. antifreeze, slug pellets, inappropriate medications, batteries, chemicals etc, can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, disorientation, convulsions (seizures), muscle twitches, abnormal heartbeat and coma.

- Contact poisons, such as tar, petrol, paint products, medications if overdosed, routinely cause skin irritation, excessive itching/licking, pain, ulceration and/or bleeding.

If you think your pet has been in contact with a product, try to make a note of what you think it may have been, and if possible what strength the product was, so we can plan best course of action for treatment.

There are a lot of very helpful links available from VetsNow and The Blue Cross for common household poisons (a couple included below), but if in doubt, it is important to give us a call so we can discuss you concern.