Top Ten Kitchen Toxins
Submitted by Lisa A. Yackel, CVPM,PHR
We have all had those days where nothing seems to be going right and our well- planned- out- day is shot up with unexpected events. That was how my day off went several weeks ago.
I was on the phone dealing with a family crisis when I heard a crash. I had been cleaning out my refrigerator when the phone rang and had turned my back to the kitchen counter to talk. That split second was enough time for my new dog, who at only eleven pounds can jump high enough to get on my kitchen counters, to do just that. Unfortunately, before I could get on the scene, he had scarfed up a whole bowl of grapes.
I have a great fear of my dogs getting grapes as I lived for many years with my Cairn who had genetic kidney issues and who could not have tolerated grapes. Kelsy was well trained, however, and the command â€śdropâ€ť was used to keep us out of danger on many occasions. That is not the case yet with my new one, Jake. He grabbed the grapes so fast that I didnâ€™t have a chance to react and then he gobbled them down whole.
I immediately called Case Veterinary Hospital and spoke with one of the available doctors. He confirmed what I already knew needed to be done-make Jake throw up the grapes before they got into his digestive system. I did not have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to do the nasty deed (note to self-keep some on hand at all times) so I went to two neighbors trying to borrow some. They did not understand my fear as they had never heard that grapes were toxic to pets. There was no time to educate them, I just grabbed the bottle and rushed back home.
Scooping Jake up and taking him outside, I took a large syringe and began to get him to swallow the liquid. My mission was to give it to him until I made him vomit up the grapes. It took thirty long minutes. During that time, Jake struggled, cried, clenched his teeth, broke free and cowered in the corner of the yard. Several minutes into the ordeal, I was crying as well and trying to tell him how sorry I was but this needed to be done for his own good. I felt like I was torturing him and he was certainly terrorized. I prayed that he would forgive me.
He did eventually vomit the grapes (still whole). He did forgive me. After two days of digestive upset, he did recover. It has taken me somewhat longer. I hope that I never have to do that again and I am on a mission to make sure we never have to tell a client to do this at home. It is not something for the weak -hearted. I found this so traumatizing, even with all my years of training.
So, in an effort to educate as many people as possible, here is a list of the top 10 toxins in the kitchen.
Â· Grapes, raisins, and currants
Â· Xylitol/sugar free gum/candy
Â· Fatty table scraps
Â· Onions and garlic
Â· Human medications
Â· Macadamia nuts
Â· Household cleaners
Â· Unbaked bread dough/alcohol
Please keep these away from your pet. Have your veterinarianâ€™s and poison controlâ€™s number handy (if you have Home Again microchip this service is free with your membership). Keep hydrogen peroxide available in your dogâ€™s first aid kit. I hope you never have your day derailed like mine was and, if you do, that you will be prepared.