It is not uncommon for veterinarians working with companion animals to run into suspected intoxications. There is almost never
a lack of potential perpetrators of these dastardly deeds, because of the somewhat morbid, seemingly natural inclination for
people to think there is someone who hates them enough to kill their pet. However, clients are often extremely reluctant to
consider or are, even possibly, unaware of the wide variety of common household products and "medications", both legal and
illegal, which if consumed in large enough quantities, can result in potentially lethal intoxications. Animals most likely
to become intoxicated are young, overly curious, bored, hungry, just plain stupid and destined to eventually be a Darwinian
phenomenon, and/or any combination of the preceding factors.
In 2008, the most common intoxications about which the National Animal Poison Control Center (NAPCC) received inquiries included
Human Medications (more than 50,000 calls), Insecticides (31,000 calls), People Food (15,000 calls), Rodenticides (8,000 calls),
Veterinary Medications (8,000 calls), Plants (8,000 calls), Chemical Hazards (5,500 calls), Household Cleaners (3,200 calls),
Heavy Metals (3000 calls), and Lawn Products (2,000 calls). The purpose of this particular presentation is to provide pertinent
information regarding specific toxicants representative of those broad categories, which veterinarians will commonly encounter
in their small animal practices. The information outlined below will be presented in an interactive format, which will hopefully
be helpful in the diagnosis and management of the intoxications being reviewed.
Some products generally regarded as safe (GRAS)
List of non-toxic substances for dogs and cats
Toilet Bowl Water
Acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs
Household Bleach and Detergents
Cocaine and Methamphetaine
Novel Flea Products
Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids
Tobacco Products/Nicotine Gums and Patches
Helpful references for busy small animal practitioners
Gfellar RW, Messonnier SP: Handbook of Small Animal Toxicology and Poisoning, 2nd Edition. St. Louis, Mosby, 2004.
Peterson ME, Talcott P (Eds): Small Animal Toxicology. St. Louis, Elsevier-Saunders, 2006.
Plumlee KH: Clinical Veterinary Toxicology. St. Louis, Mosby, 2004.