They're the everyday foods that to your pet are poison. "There's a lot of common food stuffs that humans are good at detoxifying, but dogs and particularly cats aren't." Here at Murdoch Vet Emergency Hospital, Dr Jill Griffiths see's all too many pets, who've eaten something toxic "every day we see dogs and to a lesser extent cats who have been exposed to something which has the potential to cause them a great deal of damage."
Madeline Broadhurt's cat Daisy is lucky to be alive after helping herself to a chocolate brownie. "I came home and there was crumbs everywhere and I thought it was quiet hilarious." but within hours, Daisy was unwell. "They were like this is very serious, just letting you know, this is very serious, were going to do everything we can, but this very serious." Like many pet owners, Madeline had no idea; her mischievous kitten could get so sick from something WE eat every day.
Even the tiniest amounts can be life threatening.
Jill says "the number one food stuff we see that potential causes problems is chocolate, a dog eating chocolate is like a human having lots and lots of shots of very strong coffee."
Just like coffee, chocolate is a stimulant that can cause a heart attack.
Next on the toxic list is grapes. "How many grapes would your dog need to eat for it to be sick? If you have a grape that has the toxic compound in it one grape is enough to make your dog sick."
Not all, but some grapes have a toxin harmful only to animals but it's impossible to know which ones are affected. The same applies to sultanas and raisins. "What it does in the body is attack the cells in the kidney and stops the kidney from working."
Also deadly, is onion and garlic.
"Is it raw or cooked that's a problem? It's both. You can’t make onion and garlic safe by cooking them. So the spaghetti bolognaise? Don’t do it, not at all. “And while avocado if good for us, it's very bad for certain pets.
Jill says "the flesh of the avocado is fairly safe for cats and dogs they would need to eat a lot, but it's incredibly toxic to birds."
Then there's coffee, tea, salt and particularly bad processed fatty meat, "they commonly trigger a condition called pancreatitis which causes vomiting, in its severest form, death."
Then there's the potentially deadly plants - Daffodil, hydrangea, Wisteria, zamia palms and lilies.
Jill says "if you come home and find tatty lilies and a cat with pollen on its face, get them to your vet as soon as possible" but, one of the most common poisonings is from baits including snail pellets, and rat bait. "Make sure you use them in a part of your garden where your animal doesn’t have any access."
So, there they are, the top things in your home, that could be harmful to your pet. So if you want your animals to be safe, Jill suggests following one simple rule. "Treat your dog and cat like you would treat a small child, put everything up out of reach."