How can we Protect our Pets from Poisons?

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Pets are curious creatures by nature and they are always looking for something appealing to put in their mouth.

This habit can sometimes be dangerous to their health in case they end up on a toxic substance.

Protecting our pets from posions that are stored at home is part of our duties as "responsible parents".
In order to prevent such accidents, here are several substances commonly present in our homes.

Painkillers

Painkillers are a frequent cause of dog poisoning.

Although some of these drugs are sometimes recommended by vets their dosage can be tricky for safe usage.

As an exemple, Tylenol, which contains acetaminophen can be highly toxic to the liver.

Ibuprofen can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure.

Naproxen may cause perfeoration of the stomach, gastric ulcers and acute renal failure and should never be given to dogs.

If we happen to carry around these medications in our purse or in our jacket we should make sure that our dog won't be able to find them .

Antidepressants

Unfortunately antidepressants are being  prescribed more and more for a variety of conditions.

When animals accidentally take these drugs they may experience syntoms such as lethargy, vomiting and signs of serotonin syndrome which is a condition that causes agitation,  high fever, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, tremors, seizures and disorientation.

These medicines are often left on the nightstand or in handbags that are easly accessible for pets.

We should be very carfeul with these products and store them into safe containers.

However there are herbs such as fenugreek, also known as "trigonella", a native from Mesopotamia, that has always been used for its tonic and energizing proprieties.
Its content of minerals and trace elements acts favorably on the immune system and contributes to psychophysical balance.

Recent studies, including a paper published in 2008 on Phytotherapy Research, has demonstrated the effectiveness of Tumeric for control and treatment of depression.

Tumeric has no side effects as opposed to synthetic antidepressants that were mentioned earlier.

Tumeric is also a potent antinflammatory and antioxidant and is very effective in the treatment of degenerative diseases.

Shall we rememeber the famous latin saying "Mens sana in corpore sano" which states that if the body is healthy, non intoxicated, the mind will be healthy, bright and vital as well.

However, if the body is intoxicated both animals and humans will tend to be lethargic, irritable, sad and depressed because toxins will travel into the bloodstream and affect congnitive functions as well as physiological ones.

Milk Thistle is an excellent herb for detoxifying the body by supporting liver's functions and its regeneration in case of damage due to infections or food posioning.

Dandelion is also a liver detoxifyer but acts as a prebiotic thus improving intestinal functions.

All these active ingredients promote the pet's vitality, well-being and greater happiness.

Chocolate

Most people do know that chocolate is toxic for animals,  however this crucial information may be forgotten at times and mostly dogs would take advantage to have a candy or a cookie as soon as they have the opportunity to do so.

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Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which are metabolized slower in cats and dogs.

Small amounts can cause vomiting and diahrrea.

Large quantities can cause severe toxicity requiring anti-epileptic medications and drip.

Cats and dogs will only be attracted to chocolate because of its great taste so it is our responsability as human beings to spare them a painful poisoning.

Make sure to keep foods and toxic products on top shelves where animals cannot access them.
Grapes and Raisins 

Many dog owners do not even know that raisins are toxic to dogs as their toxicity has been nted only about 25 years ago.

Until today the reason of their toxicity remains unclear,  although some reaserchers believe it might be due to a mycotoxin (a substance produced by a fungus or mold). After consumption dogs may experience vomiting, diahrrea, tremors, cramping and seizures up to acute renal failure.

The prognosis for recovery depends on the amount eaten and on early medical intervention and treatment.

Onions

Onions can cause anemia in dogs and should not be eaten neither raw nor cooked.Onions contain a substancedì called thiosulfate which is toxic to dogs and cats. This substance damages red blood cells that carry oxygen through the animal's body leading to hemolytic anemia which causes lethargy, dyspnea, vomiting and diahrrea. Even just 5 grams can be toxic.

Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetner which is contained in many foods for human.

It is often used in chewingums, candies, cookies and diabetic products. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and can cause changes in blood sugar levels, vomiting, lethargy and difficulty walking; sometimes they can also experience seizures and liver failure.

The best thing thing would be to replace xylitol with some other form of safe sweetner like stevia.

Rat Poison

Any poison left around the house or in the garden can be eaten by your pet leading to dramatic consequences.

Your dog or cat may be eating the poison directly or consume it through another animal that had eaten it just before.

The majority of rodenticides contain anticoagulant compounds that will cause an hemorrage in rats or mice.

Symtoms of poisoning in dogs can manifest even a week after ingestion with light green stool, nosebleeds, earbleeds and rectal bleeding.

Take your dog immediately to the vet if you notice these symtoms.

Be always very careful with these posions and if possibile let the cats do their instinctive work in a natural way.

Plants

stella di nataleGenerally adult dogs live with both indoor and outdoor plants without trying to eat them but puppies are often way more curious and adventourous so they would try to eat anything that seems edible.

The same goes for cats with the difference that cats will eat plants into adulthood

If you live in a flat it is recommended to avoid the plants listed below whereas if you have a garden you should try to keep them to a minimum:

Aloe - Amaryllis - Andromeda Japonica - Asiatic Lily (Liliaceae) - Asparagus leaves - Australian Walnut -Croco autumn - Avocados - Azalea - Bird of Paradise - Dulcamara americana - Dulcamara europea - Ivy -  Buddist Pine (Podocarpo) - Horse chestnut (chestnut) - Caladium - Calla lily - Castor oil seeds - Monstera deliciosa - Diffenbachia the Bead Tree or chinaberry - Aglaonema (Chinese evergreen) - hellebore (Christmas rose) - Clematis - Cordatum - ears of corn and wheat crops and cereals - Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa) - Cycads - Cyclamen - Giunchilia (pseudo-narcissus) - Lily - Pothos - common Morella, Grass nightshade (solanum) - Giglio (Easter Lily) - Alocasia (elephant's Ear, Taro) - Ferns - English Ivy - Philodendron - Anthurium (Anthurium, Flamingo Plant) - "Florida Beauty" - Digital - Monstera deliciosa (the American bread Plant) - Gladiolas - Giglio - Dracaena - Nephthysis - Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) - Hyacinth - Holly - rate - Hydrangea - Cherry d 'winter (Solanum pseudocapsicum) - Kalanchoe - asparagine - Philodendron - Macadamia Nut - Madagascar dragon Tree - Epipremnum aureum - Marijuana - Tree of Mexican bread - Morning glory (Rivea corymbosa) - mistletoe - Sansevieria trifasciata - narcissus - Onion - Oleander - Abrus precatorius (Indian liquorice or tree of the rosaries - large seeds) - walnut of Queensland (australia) - Philodendron - Schefflera - tomato Plant - Yucca - rate.

Insecticides

Insecticides can be lethal for our pets.

Keep away the animals from the fumigated area during use and ensure that the toys, bowls, gum products and other instruments are removed to avoid contamination.

Keep pets away from the area until the insecticide dries. Signs of insecticide poisoning include excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors and seizures. In case poisoning occurs, bring the animal to the vet as soon as possible and bring the insecticide that has been used, so that the veterinarian can deliver the proper treatment. The best prevention would be to use natural insecticides , which today are more and more effective and available in our stores.

Another chemical and aggressive product is the pesticide used for pets.

Fortunately nature offers two amazing essential oils, essential oil of cedar, and  essential oil of peppermint which are able to block the neurotransmitter octopamine which is only present in insects and  regulates their nervous system allowing them to operate.

Their inability to operate leads them to die quickly.

The advantage of these substances is that they are completely harmless and safe both for humans and pets making them an excellent alternative to synthetic pesticides which are highly toxic.
Products for houseold cleaning

Substances such as ammonia and bleach are highly toxic to pets if they are ingested. When these chemicals are mixed together they can produce toxic fumes and can become fatal. Products with chlorine used to clean swimming pools are also toxic. Any type of detergent for floors or for the house might contain a certain amount of these harmful substances, therefore these products should always be strictly locked into the cabinets to avoid unpleasant accidents.

Antifreeze

The anti-freeze contains ethylene glycol which is highly toxic to dogs.

Generally dogs do come in contact with this substance when it drips from car engines, which thus remains on the garage floor where the dog may end up licking. In colder places some people use the antifreeze in toilets to prevent the pipe split and having the antifreeze a sweet taste, dogs may be attracted to it. The product can damage the kidneys, liver and brain of animals. Always keep it on top shelves or in cabinets, and immediately clean up any leaks.

If you suspect your dog has licked the antifreeze, take him to the vet right away.

Fertilizers

Fertilizers for the garden or for plants can also be toxic to pets. Normally animals are not attracted to these substances, but they could contaminate their legs by walking on them and then contaminate the toys or bones to chew.

Before releasing the animals, always add water in the fertilized area so it can descend into the ground faster. Symptoms of fertilizer posioning include excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in some cases, difficulty breathing.

If this happens to bring the animal to the vet right away. Even here the prevention could be the use of more natural fertilizers.

Alcohol

Some manufacturers ofsupplements for animals add dangerous amount of alcohol of grain to their products. The alcohol is a low-cost preservative that allows to keep the products in the warehouse for years with minimal deterioration. According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and a growing number of veterinarians and scientists, alcohol, even in small quantities, is toxic to dogs and cats.

Some products for the oral hygiene for animals that remove plaque and tartar are among the worst on the market and some also contain 25% of alcohol! Since our pets can not read the labels, it is our job to inform ourselves and make the right choices for them. The alcohol level  in dental products for dogs and cats may be from 25% to zero.

Numerous studies and trials have in fact confirmed the efficacy of grapefruit seed extract (GSE) on oral disorders (plaque, tartar, infections and gum inflammation and bad breath).

GSE has both antiviral and antibacterial proprieties and is also active against fungi (responsible for mycosis of the oral cavity), yeast (such as Candida albicans), protozoa and parasites.

It is available  in the form of spray or gel that are easy to use for prevention and treatment of these annoying disturbances that often affect our pets.

Another component that is extremely usefull for the hygiene of the oral cavity is the propolis extract known for decades for its broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties.

Propolis has a strong anti-inflammatory action due to the presence of flavonoids and caffeic acid, it is  immunostimulant and facilitates wounds healing and is very efficient  in the treatment of mouth ulcers, gingivitis and abscesses.

Propolis is found both as tincture (water-alcohol solution) , or in a spray or gel.

The synergy of these natural substances is very effective for the many oral disorders that plague our companions without the side effects caused by most synthetic products on the market.

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