Common dog poisons

If you think your dog's been poisoned contact your vet immediately. For more information: Poisoning in dogs.

Slug/snail pellets

Metaldehyde is a common ingredient of slug/snail baits or pellets. However, not all slug baits contain metaldehyde; it is important to check which type has been ingested. Metaldehyde poisoning is extremely serious and is usually fatal without urgent treatment. Metaldehyde is the most common known cause of dog deaths in cases referred to the VPIS.

Dogs may initially appear unsteady on their feet and twitchy, but may rapidly deteriorate and suffer continuous convulsions and possibly respiratory failure.

Chocolate - Never give chocolate to your pet

Chocolate poisoning is the most commonly reported type of dog poisoning reported to the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS). Chocolate contains the stimulant theobromine. Dark chocolate, cocoa mulch and cocoa contain high levels of theobromine.

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, hyperactivity, high temperature and blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm and tremors.


Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

E.g. ibuprofen naproxen and many others.

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, bleeding from the gut, stomach ulceration and kidney failure.

Keep all drugs out of the reach of pets!

Rodent Poisons ('rodenticides')

This refers to anticoagulant rodenticides, such as warfarin, which prevent blood clotting. Not all rodenticides are anticoagulants. It's important to check which one has been ingested.

Poisoning may cause life-threatening bleeding; effects may not appear for several days. Bleeding may be internal and isn't always visible.

Grapes, raisins, sultanas, currants

Any quantity of these can be toxic. Cooking or baking doesn't reduce the risk of poisoning.

Poisoning may initially result in vomiting and diarrhoea and subsequently in kidney failure (which may occur a few days after the initial effects).

Vitamin D

Vitamin D exists in many forms and is found in a variety of products, e.g. creams/ointments for psoriasis.

Poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, bleeding from the gut, convulsions, abnormal heart rhythm and kidney failure. Effects may be delayed for several days and may be permanent.


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Acknowledgement Acknowledgement for this information is made to The Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS). Some helpful information is available on their website.

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