Expert pet advice on summer toxicity
From fireworks to rodenticides to mystery mushrooms, there’s a lot to protect your pet from during the summer. Luckily, vethelpline® has the answers to tough pet health questions.
Puppy chewed on a sparkler
Ralph*, our 9-month-old puppy, chewed and ingested the top of a metal sparkler.
Ralph has vomited four times since the ingestion, and he is drooling and lethargic. Ralph ate breakfast shortly after the ingestion but has since vomited it all up. Are sparklers poisonous for dogs?
The biggest risk facing pets who ingest fireworks or sparklers comes from the potential for gastrointestinal irritation, including vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, lethargy and abdominal pain. Less commonly, serious blood conditions may occur with ingestion of larger amounts.
Due to the severity of the symptoms Ralph is already experiencing, we suggest you seek out veterinary evaluation immediately.
Golden retriever consumed rat poison
Our golden retriever, Lolli*, discovered some old rodent bait pellets in our garage. I pulled her back from the poison, but she may have ingested a few of the pellets.
Currently, Lolli is asymptomatic. We gave her some white rice and water, but unfortunately, we don’t have the packaging for the bait. What should we do?
Rodenticides can be very dangerous for pets, even in low doses. Given the amount she likely ingested, we recommend you bring Lolli into a veterinary facility for decontamination, monitoring, diagnostics and supportive care.
Once Lolli is given a clean bill of health from the vet, we recommend continuing to watch her closely over the next seven days for any abnormality, especially lethargy, coughing, increased thirst, increased urination or signs of central nervous system distress.
Chihuahua ingests unidentified wild mushroom
Walter*, our chihuahua puppy, ingested part of a wild mushroom about 30 minutes ago. He is currently asymptomatic, and we haven’t attempted any treatments. What should we do?
Different types of wild mushrooms come with a wide range of toxicity risks. Some caps cause mild gastric upset when ingested, while others cause serious liver damage, tremors, seizures, hallucinations and more. A few mushrooms can lead to death when eaten in small quantities.
To plan a course of treatment for Walter, you’ll need to know what mushroom species he ingested—but mushrooms are famously difficult to identify. Fortunately, the experienced mycologists at the Poisons Help; Emergency Identification for Mushrooms & Plants group on Facebook are available to help for free. To get an accurate identification, your post must include photos of all parts of the mushroom—cap, gills and stem—and your geographical location. It is important to note that the group does not include veterinarians as part of the identification team, so you should call us back once the mushroom has been identified. Even mushrooms labeled as “non-toxic” can still potentially cause severe gastrointestinal upset in pets.
While you’re waiting for the mushroom to be identified, please take Walter to the veterinarian to prepare for further treatment.
*Pets’ names have been changed
vethelpline® experts are not a substitute for your veterinarian. They cannot prescribe or authorize refills of medications, treat, or diagnose your pet’s condition.