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  • Autumn Pet Toxcities


The start of autumn marks the evenings drawing in and the leaves turning various shades of orange and red, it also brings with it different toxicities for our pets, our handy guide hopes to bring awareness to these autumnal dangers and in turn help keep your pets safe during the colder months.

The use of rodenticides increase during the cooler months as rodents start to seek shelter inside. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets and, if ingested, the results could be fatal.
Clinical signs can include:
Decreased appetite
Pale mucous membranes (gums)
Increased respiratory rate and effort
Bloody faeces
Black, tar-like stools (from digested blood)

Poisoning from acorns is most likely to occur in the autumn months when these fruits have fallen to the ground.
Clinical signs can include:
Kidney failure
Liver failure

Conkers (horse chestnut)
Conkers may be synonymous with autumn, but few people realise that these nuts can pose a serious health risk to your pet if ingested.
Clinical signs can include:
Respiratory paralysis
Severe dehydration

Not to be confused with American poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), which is not commonly found in the UK.
Clinical signs can include:
Prolonged skin contact may cause skin irritation or allergic contact dermatitis
Old Fireworks
Old or spent fireworks can contain hazardous chemicals which can be poisonous to your dog.
Clinical signs can include:
Bloody stool
Respiratory issues
Kidney failure
Liver failure

Antifreeze Poisoning
Ethylene glycol poisoning is a potentially fatal condition that results from the ingestion of substances containing ethylene glycol, an organic compound commonly seen in antifreeze. (In addition to being found in the car’s engines to prevent freezing and overheating, it is used in hydraulic brake fluids.) It has a very sweet taste which is why it is believed to be palatable and attractive for pets.
Clinical signs can include:
Nausea and vomiting
Wobbly, uncoordinated or drunken-appearing gait (ataxia)
Twitching muscles
Short, rapid movements of the eyeball
Head tremors
Decreased withdrawal reflexes and righting ability
Increased urination and increased thirst (polyuria and polydipsia)

As with all toxicities, even if you only suspect an ingestion, it is essential to contact your Veterinary Surgeon immediately for appropriate treatment. The quicker the toxins are treated, the better the chance of your pet having a quick and full recovery.

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