As a pet owner, you must know that your furry friends are prone to toxic exposure. It can be from a new plant you brought inside home, or something your pet ate without your knowledge. Although it’s good to be well-informed of substances that can poison your dog or cat, there is still a chance that they will come in contact with something you didn’t think was toxic. This is why it is crucial to be familiar with some signs and symptoms of pet toxicity.
Diarrhea is among the most common symptoms of toxicity in pets. It happens when a toxic substance entered in the body causes irritation to the small or large intestines. If your pet has small bowel diarrhea, they may pass large amounts of stool about 3 to 5 in a day. Whereas, if they have large intestinal diarrhea, they may pass small amounts of stool more frequently, usually more than 5 times in a day.
Many toxins affect the oral cavity and digestive tract of your pet, which may result in vomiting. Sometimes pets only gag or retch but do not actually expel any stomach content from their mouth. So, even gagging or retching are the symptoms of toxicity in pets. Vomiting usually occurs when your pet accidentally consumes a toxic food that negatively affects their kidneys, liver, and pancreas.
- Irregular heart rhythm
Irregular heartbeats usually occur when a pet has encountered a toxic plant or accidentally ingested some medications. Your pet’s rapid heartbeat may not be obvious to you, but if you think toxic exposure may have occurred, check their heart’s rhythm from time to time. Contact your vet immediately if you feel the heartbeat is irregular. Some plants that can be poisonous to your dog or cat include milkweed, jimson weed, oleander, mountain laurel, and kalanchoe.
- Blood loss
Ingestion of rat or mouse poison may result in bruising, bloody stools, or nosebleeds. In some cases, pets may also develop anemia, a condition in which their body lacks sufficient healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen across the body. However, anemia can also occur if a pet eats large amounts of garlic, onion, sweet clover, or bracken fern. Severe anemia can be fatal, so if you notice any blood loss, contact your vet as soon as possible.
- Neurological abnormalities
Some toxic chemicals directly affect the nervous system in animals, which can lead to symptoms like tremors, twitching, and seizures. Proper medical attention may be required if your pet exhibits these symptoms of toxicity. Neurological abnormalities may occur when a pet is exposed to, or ingests, substances like antidepressants, alcohol, aspirin, drain cleaner, gasoline, flea repellents, tobacco, or furniture polish.
- Coughing and sneezing
Coughing and sneezing are yet another common symptom of pet toxicity. These signs usually show up when a pet inhales a toxic substance. The body tries to get rid of that harmful substance by coughing, sneezing, or reverse sneezing. Sometimes, nasal discharge, which is normally thin and clear, may become thick, rubbery mucus.