It is not uncommon for veterinarians working with companion animals to run into suspected intoxications where the actual toxicant
cannot be identified. 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 reluctant to consider or are unaware of the wide variety of 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 most likely encounter
at some point in their small animal practices, but much less commonly than those toxicants discussed previously. 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.
List of non-toxic substances for dogs and cats
Toilet bowl water
Antidepressants/other neuroactive oral medications
Other Neuroactive Oral Medications
Brewing/wine making supplies
Yeast and Ethanol
Endocrine disrupting chemicals
Bisphenol A (BPA) and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
Ephedra and Guarana
dl-Methionine and Other "Natural" Supplements
Other human oral medications
Over-the-counter Cold and Sinus Medications
Prescription Oral Medications
Potpourri and essential oils
5-Fluorouracil and Vitamin D Analogs
Sugar-free Gum and Related Products
Helpful references for busy small aimal 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.