Grapes, chocolate, pastries, and onions – these products are not given to dogs and cats as they can provoke poisoning and death of the pet. The Gazeta science department tells what other “human” products should be avoided by all means.
All pet owners know that you cannot give your table food to your pet- even those who feed a dog or cat with specialized food. But with “human” food (meat, fish, porridge) or treating animals with products such as sausage, bread, or sweets must be avoided. Nevertheless, it is simply impossible to resist the begging eyes of black dog eyes, and the loving owner still treats the pet with something tasty -because a small piece of sausage cannot cause significant harm to the health of a dog or cat!
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However, scientists have found out that sometimes even a single berry – for example, grapes – may be enough for the animal to die from poisoning. The department of science tells you exactly what products to pets should not be given in any case – neither in the form of a reward for a completed team nor in response to a requesting look. The full text of the scientific article can be found in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
Products, which include cocoa beans contain two toxic components for pets – theobromine alkaloids and caffeine. These substances stimulate the functioning of the heart muscle and also affect the central nervous system. Scientists claim that one small piece of dark chocolate (which contains more theobromine and caffeine than milk) may be enough to make a small dog feel unwell.
The first symptoms of poisoning appear two to four hours after the animal has eaten chocolate, they include an excited state, thirst, urinary incontinence, and vomiting. If these symptoms occur, the animal must be taken to the veterinarian – if the pet does not receive help on time, it may begin to muscle cramps, it may fall into a coma or even die from arrhythmia or respiratory failure.
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Veterinarians claim that cases of pet poisoning with theobromine and caffeine occur during the holidays when the amount of chocolate and sweets in the houses increases sharply. Also in the summer when the owners of gardens and household plots fertilize the soil with mulch from crushed shells of cocoa beans or coffee beans.
Another dangerous product for pets is xylitol (a polyhydric alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute). As a rule, it is used in the production of chewing gum without sugar, sweets, bread and other pastries.
Due to its antibacterial properties, xylitol is found in dentifrices and oral cavity care products (including in animal dentifrices).
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If xylitol enters the dog’s body, it can trigger insulin release, resulting in lowered blood sugar levels to dangerous levels. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning appear 30-60 minutes after it enters the body. However in some cases, the reaction may be delayed and occur only after 12 hours. Symptoms include vomiting, as well as lethargy, loss of control over movements, and cramps that occur due to low blood sugar.
Onion and Garlic
Not only sweets are a danger to dogs and cats: plants from the genus Allium are also poisonous to domestic animals – these include onions of various types and garlic. These plants contain substances called “organic sulfoxides” – when an animal chews an onion or a clove of garlic, sulfoxides break down into a variety of sulfur compounds that cause the destruction of the body’s red blood cells.
Dangerous changes in the blood structure can occur after eating 5 g of onion per kilogram of body weight (in the case of cats) and 15-30 g per kilogram of body weight for dogs.
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Scientists claim that poisoning can occur not only as a result of eating fresh onions and garlic – baked onions, fried pieces of garlic and pastries containing onions can also be dangerous.
Symptoms of onion and garlic poisoning manifest after a few days and include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. In addition, the animal suffers from weakness, breathing and heart rate become more frequent, and the color of the mucous membranes becomes paler. However, this does not always happen: the author’s labrador of these lines in the country often digs up onions and garlic and eats them without any consequences.
Poisoning with ethanol (ethyl alcohol) occurs when the animal swallows a small amount of an alcoholic drink. However, cases of poisoning with ethanol were recorded even after the dog ate a rotten apple, wild plum fruits, and a piece of raw dough (all of these foods also contain a small amount of ethyl alcohol).
Ethanol acts on domestic animals in the same way as humans: it is absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream and reaches the brain. Within an hour after “intoxication” the animal may show signs of depressed mood, loss of control over movements, apathy, and body temperature may increase. Scientists argue that in the vast majority of cases, the animal does not need medical attention – after a certain time, alcohol is removed from the body, and the dog or cat returns to normal.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes, raisins, and products containing them can cause kidney failure in dogs, scientists say. However, the reaction of different animals to these berries is not the same.
According to the analysis of 180 cases of dogs eating grapes and raisins, such a treat can lead to a wide range of consequences. There are cases when the dog died, swallowing only a few berries, and sometimes even 0.9 kg of eaten raisins did not cause any consequences.
Veterinarians claim that the symptoms of grape poisoning appear one day after eating berries.
Hop cones are used to make beer. However, hops are often planted on personal plots as an ornamental plant due to the fact that it grows quickly. It has large carved leaves and is able to “cling” to the vertical walls of the building, creating a beautiful green “carpet”.
However, the cones of this plant contain a whole range of substances (resins, essential oils and tannins) that can provoke fever in dogs and cats. In addition to fever, the animal may develop cramps, vomiting, palpitations, and stomach pain. Scientists argue that even the measures taken in time (and the symptoms appear within a few hours after poisoning) cannot guarantee that the animal will survive.
Macadamia nut (also known as “Australian walnut” or “kindal”) is widely used in the manufacture of confectionery and nutritious snack bars. It is not known exactly how much macadamia can cause serious poisoning of a pet. However, there are cases when 0.7 g of nut per kilogram of body weight of a dog or cat caused symptoms of poisoning.
They appear after 12 hours and include vomiting, fever, weakness of the muscles of the hind limbs, as well as a change in the color of the mucous membranes. There were no cases of death of animals from poisoning with macadamia nuts – as a rule, the pet recovers in one to two days with minimal treatment.
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