Crooked River German Shepherds
Specializing in Long Haired German Shepherds
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Foods and Toxins
  • Pets and poison is a growing concern among pet owners. Household poisons are not the only thing that can harm your pets. Many common household foods and drugs can also be toxic to your pets. The following are foods that can be toxic or poisonous to your pets.

Avocados contain a toxin known as persin. Persin is found in various parts of the avocado and avocado trees (eg, leaves, rind, etc). This toxin is known mostly to cause
vomiting and diarrhea. Birds and small pets seem most affected by the negative side effects of consuming avocado.


Not just beer…all alcohol. Depending on how much alcohol your animal ingests, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, depression, difficulty breathing, coma, and possible death.

Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine that is toxic to pets. If enough is ingested, your animal can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and possible death. Cocoa mulch contains theobromine; the ASPCA advises dog owners to avoid using this fertilizer around unsupervised dogs, and dogs with indiscriminate eating habits since
it can be toxic if ingested.

Caffeine is generally highly toxic to pets, having negative effects on both the cardiac
and nervous systems. Side effects can include vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms,
tremors, seizures, and possible death.

Chocolate is the most common candy that is toxic to pets, especially to dogs, cats and ferrets. Any candy containing the sweetener xylitol can also be toxic to pets.

Grapes and raisins
An unknown toxin in grapes and raisins can cause
kidney failure and ultimately lead to death. Symptoms of this poisoning can include hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, and irregular heartbeat.

An unknown toxin in nuts can have negative effects on the nervous, digestive, and muscular systems of your pet. Symptoms can include muscle tremors, weakness, an upset stomach, vomiting, depression, inactivity, and stiffness. Particularly avoid Macadamia nuts.


Onions, along with garlic and chives, are all part of the same species of plant—the Allium species. Allium species plants contain sulfur compounds that can cause stomach irritation and possibly result in damage to red blood cells causing anemia. This is referred to as Allium poisoning.

Some human medicines

While some human medications are prescribed for pets by veterinarians, others can be highly toxic and fatal. Acetaminophen, which is contained in Tylenol and other similar products, for example, can be fatal to cats. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving human
medication to a pet.

Xylitol (artificial sugar)
Xylitol is a sweetener used in many products including mouthwash, chewing gum, toothpaste, and various foods. Because it is toxic to pets, products containing xylitol should not be given
to your dog or cat.

Lilly Plants
All portions of the lilly plant are poisonous to cats when ingested. Just a nibble of the leaf, petal or stem can cause irreversible kidney failure despite extensive medical

Other foods that can be toxic to your pet:

  • Apple Seeds
  • Chives (see "onions," above)
  • Fruit pits, especially those of apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, and cherries
  • Garlic (see "onions" above)
  • Moldy foods
  • Mustard seeds
  • Potato leaves and stems
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salt
  • Tea
  • Tomato leaves and stems

    Toxic Household Items

    • Antifreeze
    • Liquid potpourri
    • PolyUrethane glue
    • Pennies
    • Pine-sol cleaners
    If this is a poison emergency call the
    American Association of Poison Control Centers
    at 1-800-222-1222
    or Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435


    How a 90-cent Pack of Chewing Gum is Deadly to Your Dog

    If you have a pet around the house, you may feed them the same things you eat. But the ingredients of some human food could possibly kill man's best friend, including a 90-cent packet of sugar-free gum.

    That’s because it contains xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in a number of foods you may have around the house. Scientific studies have found this natural sweetener to have numerous health benefits for humans, but for dogs, ingestion can be dangerous or even lethal.

    The ASPCA’s Poison Control Center reports that in 2011 it took in approximately 3,000 xylitol-related calls from pet owners in crisis.

    “Xylitol is deadly and can kill quickly,” says Dr. Luke Rump, a veterinarian at Central Veterinary Emergency Services at Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado in Englewood. “I worry that not enough pet owners know that sugarless gum, mints, sugar-free candies and baked goods contain this dangerous ingredient.” Brands with products containing xylitol include Trident, Ice Breakers, Spry, Peelu, Altoids, Orbit, and Tom’s of Maine.

    Dr. Rump is familiar with a recent case of a Denver Metro area dog named Gracie. The 8-year-old spaniel was having bleeding, seizures and a high fever after eating a stick of gum out of a pack her owner left on her bedroom nightstand. Ultimately, Gracie’s liver failed and she had to be euthanized.

    In dogs, xylitol is absorbed extremely quickly. The immediate result is that it fools the pancreas into releasing a huge spike of insulin, which is quickly followed by a sudden and dramatic drop in blood sugar (acute hypoglycemia) since there isn't really any surplus sugar for the insulin to work on. The next problem, which isn't quite as well understood, is severe (and potentially fatal) liver toxicity and failure, for which there is no clear evidence of causation. Either way, it isn't good. It doesn't take a whole lot of xylitol to be a toxic dose, and the effects are so rapid that the window of opportunity to treat the dog is extremely small. Clinical signs of hypoglycemia can appear within 30 minutes of ingestion.

    Dr. Rump says the tragedy for pet owners is that this is a totally preventable scenario and he urges everyone reading this to share it with fellow pet owners.

    Here is a list of other symptoms to look for that may indicate your dog has xylitol poisoning:

    • Weakness and lethargy
    • Vomiting
    • Uncoordinated movements
    • Pale gums (usually after the dog starts going into shock)
    • Body tremors
    • Unconsciousness
    • Arrhythmia or irregular heart rate

    Your veterinarian will likely induce vomiting if the ingestion is recent. Other treatments can include administration of fluids by IV and glucose supplementation based on lab tests to monitor blood glucose levels, plus other supportive measures to maintain proper liver function. The outcome is dependent on the amount of xylitol ingested relative to the size of the animal and the time lapse between ingestion and treatment. The more immediate the treatment, the better.