Toxin Ingestion in Dogs and Cats - What You Should Know

There are numerous toxins in our homes.  Some of these toxins are foods or medications that we as humans can safely ingest or take to treat our ailments, but for dogs they can be harmful to disastrous.

The common toxins that we have seen at our hospital include: 

  • Owners giving their dog or cat ibuprofen (Advil), Tylenol, or aspirin due to pain.
  • Dogs eating chocolate.
  • Cats eating lilies.
  • Ingestion of antidepressants.
  • Ingestion of marijuana.
  • Ingestion of rat bait.
  • Ingestion of snail bait. 
  • Ingestion of grapes or raisins.
  • Ingestion of macadamia nuts.

Most of these cases resolved with PROMPT treatment (less than 4 hours after ingestion).   Unfortunately, due to multiple factors (owner adopted a wait and see stance, patient ingested the toxin when the owner just left for work and returned to their pet extremely ill), several pets either now have irreversible organ issue (chronic kidney failure) or have succumbed to the toxin. 

The following resource is considered gold standard by this author.


24-hour board certified veterinary toxicologist available for consultation. 

Consultation fee is $65.


For identification of plants:

For a list of foods your pet should NOT eat:

For a comprehensive list of toxins in general:

If you are concerned your pet has been poisoned, please speak with your veterinarian.  If they are not available, you may consult with the ASPCA Pet Poison control directly.  The consult fee of $65 to speak with a board certified veterinary toxicologist at any time of the day is invaluable.   You may contact the ASPCA Pet Poison Control at 888-426-4435.

Have the following information:

  • The toxin (either the bottle or the ingredient) and estimation of the amount ingested.
  • The weight of your animal
  • Time of ingestion
  • Payment for the consult (usually credit card).
  • Pen and paper (they will provide you an access case number that you MUST write down and provide your veterinarian).  With this access case number, your veterinarian can continue to consult with the board certified toxicologist (common question answered – ASPCA will not charge you extra for your veterinarian to speak with them).  Having your veterinarian consult with the board certified toxicologist will increase the level of care your pet will receive.