Dog Poison Info

Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called "Theobromine".It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it reallyattracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Just a word of caution -- check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens. Theobromine is the ingredient that is used to make all chocolate -- especially dark or baker's chocolate -- which is toxic to dogs. Cacao bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.

Until your pet learns to use the phone,
a microchip will help him find his way home.


A microchip is a tiny computer chip (the size of an uncooked grain of rice) which has an identification number programmed into it. The device is simply injected under the skin of your pet, where it will stay for the life of the animal. This provides a permanent identification which cannot be lost, altered or removed.

Animal control officers carry scanners and can return microchipped pets to their families without going to a shelter first. If your lost pet is taken to a veterinarian, the doctor will scan the animal for a microchip and once identified you will be notified that your pet has been located.

Pets & Vets & Holiday Frets
Protecting Your Animal Friends From Holiday Pitfalls
By Stacy Baumann, DVM

Can you believe itís that time of the year again?† Certainly holidays are a joyous time, but our pets can find ways to get into all the wrong things. If you suspect your pet has ingested any of the following substances or objects, please seek immediate medical attention.
Chocolate: All chocolate contains theobromine. The sweeter chocolates such as milk chocolate have lower concentrations per ounce than darker chocolates such as baker's chocolate or cocoa; white chocolate has only one tenth the amount of theobromine as found in darker, unsweetened chocolate. Theobromine can cause a range of clinical signs that your pet may exhibit, from mild gastrointestinal upset (such as vomiting and/or diarrhea) to seizures. If you suspect that your pet has ingested chocolate, call your veterinarian.
Mistletoe (Phoradendron spp):† The entire plant is poisonous, especially the berries. You may not see any signs for several hours after ingestion. The symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and difficulty breathing. As with chocolate poisoning, it is important to bring your pet to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible.
Tinsel: I don't even bother putting this on our Christmas tree for fear that one of our five cats will play with it and inadvertently swallow it. Many times owners do not know that their cat even ingested the tinsel. Some owners may see a piece of tinsel underneath their cat's tongue. Never pull the tinsel from under the tongue! Go to the animal hospital immediately.† Tinsel acts as a linear foreign object and can cause a blockage within the gastrointestinal tract. The most common signs that owners will see are vomiting, diarrhea and/or a painful abdomen.
Table scraps: With the festive season comes high-calorie and fatty meals.† Many owners or friends who are visiting want to spread the holiday cheer by sharing their meal (turkey, gravy, ham, etc.) with the family dog. Unfortunately this can potentially cause a life-threatening disorder called pancreatitis. Symptoms may include vomiting, loss of appetite and lethargy. Share hugs and kisses instead of food!

Dr. Baumann is a veterinarian practicing in Irvine. This article originally appeared on our website in Nov 2000.
(Disclaimer:† The information presented here is informational only. It is not intended to pertain to the specifics of any particular animal's case or condition, nor is it a substitute for professional veterinary evaluation and care.† A consultation with a veterinary professional should be obtained if you have any medical concerns regarding your pet's health.)

Spaying and Neutering

As we all know, millions of cats and dogs are euthanized each year at shelters across the United States. The main way to control pet population is to spay and neuter all cats and dogs. Thankfully, it is now mandatory in California that every single cat or dog that leaves the shelter has to be spayed or neutered BEFORE the adoption can take place. In the early 90's, there was much controversy over early (before a pet is 5 months of age) spaying and neutering. Since that time, much research has been performed to determine if early spaying and neutering can cause deleterious side effects. No negative consequences have been found. In fact, the spay and neuter procedures usually take much less time to perform on younger puppies and kittens and recovery time is shorter on the average.

The social reasons for spaying and neutering dogs and cats are extremely important; however there are many medical reasons to do so as well. The medical reasons to spay a dog are numerous. If a dog is spayed before her first heat cycle, this greatly diminishes the chance of her developing mammary (breast) cancer later in life. Pyometra, another potentially life-threatening medical problem, can be avoided if a dog is spayed at an early age. The cost to have an emergency spay performed when a dog develops a pyometra is well into the thousands of dollars compared to the usual $100-200 price range for a standard spay procedure. When spaying a dog, the uterus, ovarian horns and ovaries are removed. This obviously leads to 100% prevention of cancer developing in these organs.

There are also medical benefits to having your dog neutered. The risk of your dog developing testicular cancer is nil if he is neutered. The prostate of most intact male dogs continues to grow as the dog ages leaving him susceptible to prostatic cancer and infection. Neutering markedly diminishes the chance of a dog developing prostatic problems.

If any of you have owned an intact cat, you know that the main benefit of having your cat spayed is a medical benefit to all that live in the house - you will be able to sleep at night. When a cat goes into heat, it is very common that she will become very affectionate. She will howl at all hours and try to get out of the house at every possible opportunity. Having her spayed stops all of this nonsense. Of course, the cat will also receive medical benefits when spayed. The rationale is similar to the reason to spay a dog: decreased chance of developing mammary tumors and zero chance of developing pyometra, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.

Neutered cats are less likely to get into fights. Due to this behavioral change, many medical benefits are achieved. The neutered cat is less likely to develop abscesses secondary to being bitten or scratched by another cat. Also, he is less likely to be infected with the deadly feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). This virus is shed in the saliva and transmitted via bite wounds. There is no vaccination or cure for FIV.

For your pet's sake, spay or neuter today!

If you have any ideas for future topics, please feel free to E-Mail me.

(Disclaimer: The information presented here is informational only, it is not intended to pertain to the specifics of any particular animal's case or condition, nor is it a substitute for professional Veterinary evaluation and care. A consultation with a Veterinary professional should be obtained if you have any medical concerns regarding your pet's health.)

Poisonous Easter Lillies

A Dear Abby reader recently wrote in after losing a Kitten to Acute Kidney Failure after it ate some leaves from an Easter Lilly Plant. We have confirmed through our Vet, Dr. Baumann and the Animal Poison Control Center that Easter Lillies are extremely Poisonous to Dogs and Cats and can cause Acute Renal Failure (Kidney Failure) which can lead to the death of your pet. This is not a widely known fact. Please keep this in mind next Easter before placing this plant in your house where you pets can gain access to them.

ASPCA Warning: Beware Feeding Grapes/Raisins to Dogs

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is aware of recent reports of dogs alleged to have developed kidney failure following ingestion of large amounts of grapes or raisins. Veterinary toxicologists at the APCC are currently investigating these cases in an attempt to determine the causative agents or disease processes. At this time the exact role of grapes or raisins in these cases is unclear. Pet owners whose dogs have ingested large quantities of grapes or raisins, or veterinarians managing such cases, are encouraged to call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) immediately.