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October 2016

5 Dangerous Halloween Candies for Pets

By Health

Halloween is associated with spooky haunted houses, costume parties and most of all, Halloween candy!

Certain types of candy can be toxic and very dangerous to pets. Below are are five dangerous Halloween candies for dogs and cats.

1. Candy Corn & Other High Sugar Candy

Candies that are made with pure sugar can cause severe gas and diarrhea. The sugar not only provides a great source of food for gut bacteria to indulge on, it can also pull water into the colon and cause a bad case of diarrhea.

candy-corn

Keep candy corn away from pets this Halloween.

2. Chocolate Covered Raisins

These tasty treats combine two potentially deadly ingredients in dogs and cats. Chocolate is toxic to pets and can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. Raisins (and other grape products) can cause severe kidney failure. The two of these combined is the ultimate toxic nightmare for pets. If your pet eats any chocolate covered raisins this Halloween, he needs to be taken to your veterinarian immediately for treatment.

raisnet

Chocolate covered raisins are highly dangerous for dogs and cats.

3. Candy with Wrappers

When dogs get into the candy bowl, they don’t usually bother to unwrap the treats first. Plastic and foil wrappers pose a health risk since they can cause an obstruction in the intestines and irritate the lining of the GI tract. Sometimes, pets can pass the wrappers without a problem, but it is best to keep all wrapped treats away from pets just in case.

foil-wrapped-candy

Candy wrappers can cause an obstruction in a pet’s intestines.

4. Bite-size Hard Candy

Hard candy often has a delicious taste to dogs. These treats pose a major choking hazard for pets. Hard candy becomes slippery when mixed with saliva, and it can easily be inhaled into the trachea (wind pipe) which can cause choking. Be sure to keep these candies away from dogs and cats.

hard-candy

Hard candy can be a choking hazard to pets.

5. Sugar-Free Gum

This type of gum may contain Xylitol, a sugar-substitute. Xylitol is perfectly safe in people, but it can be deadly if ingested by a dog or cat. Xylitol causes a very severe drop in blood sugar that can happen within minutes after ingestion. Pets may become lethargic, unable to walk and start having seizures. If they survive the initial symptoms, they often will have severe liver damage and potentially fatal liver failure. This is the most dangerous type of Halloween candy for pets.

Keep your pet safe this Halloween by keeping all of your Halloween treats in a safe, secure place.

Dangers of Mushrooms

By Educational, Guides

Dangers of Mushrooms

Edible mushrooms or mushrooms that are non-toxic to humans are generally also non-toxic to pets. However, some can cause gastrointestinal upset or even symptoms of poisoning. This is because dogs and cats don’t digest food the same way as humans. For that reason it is recommended not to give your pet any mushrooms. Even more important is to prevent your pet from eating wild mushrooms. Just like humans, dogs and cats are not particularly good in distinguishing between toxic and non-toxic species which puts them at risk of potentially dangerous mushroom poisoning.

The Risk of Mushroom Poisoning in Pets

Unfortunately, mushroom poisoning in pets is not uncommon. This is especially true for dogs although cats are also attracted by the fishy odor that is produced by some of the most toxic mushrooms. In comparison to cats, dogs usually spend more time in areas where they are more likely to encounter mushrooms, both toxic and non-toxic species.

Signs and Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning in Pets

Signs and symptoms of mushroom poisoning in pets depend greatly on the species that was ingested, the quantity that was eaten and some other factors such as the pet’s overall health. Obviously, symptoms are more severe if the ingested mushroom is very toxic. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to tell the difference between toxic and non-toxic mushrooms, let alone determine the toxicity level. Since the most toxic species can be lethal, any mushroom should be treated as dangerous.

The most common signs and symptoms of mushroom poisoning in pets include gastrointestinal upset including abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Species with higher toxicity may also cause extreme drooling, watery eyes, weakness, lethargy, seizures and coma. Especially dangerous are mushrooms from the so-called category A which can lead to liver and kidney failure. Pets that ingested hallucinogenic mushrooms may develop hallucinations which can manifest themselves in restlessness, uncoordinated movement, depression and unresponsiveness.

Treatment of Mushroom Poisoning in Pets

To reduce the risk of potentially fatal complications, mushroom poisoning in pets requires immediate treatment involving removal and/or neutralization of the toxins. This is achieved by inducing vomiting and if necessary, using activated charcoal to get rid of any toxins remaining in the gastrointestinal tract. Only then treatment of mushroom poisoning focuses on treating/relieving the symptoms.

With treatment, death or lasting complications due to ingestion of toxic mushrooms are rare. However, it is crucial for the pet to receive treatment as soon as possible. Also, it is recommended to pick a sample of the mushroom that was ingested or is suspected to be ingested and take it to the vet.

The easiest way to prevent mushroom poisoning in pets is to reduce the risk of exposure to potentially toxic mushrooms. To do that, inspect your backyard or garden for mushrooms and remove them immediately. Not all mushrooms are toxic, however, it is best not to take any chances, especially if you’re not sure if they are dangerous or not. Also, choose your walking routes carefully and avoid areas where mushrooms might thrive, especially moist wooded areas.