• Home
  • Services
  • Reviews
  • Payment Options
  • Emergency Info
  • Pet Tales
  • Toxin Ingestion

    Unfortunately, toxin ingestion is all too common when it comes to our beloved pets. Not only can it make them sick, but it can even lead to their untimely death. While you may assume that toxin ingestion is something that happens to other people’s animals, it is much easier for this to occur than you may think. Animals seem to find everything, and often it means that it goes straight into their mouths! Let’s take a look at some of the most common toxins that our pets can get into and what you can do to help keep them safe.


    Chocolate is one of the most common toxin occurrences in pets, especially dogs. Dark chocolate poses a higher risk to dogs because it contains higher levels of theobromine. If an animal has ingested dark chocolate, they may experience diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive thirst. Keep in mind, theobromine is absorbed slowly, so animals may not show signs of toxicity for up to 12 hours following ingestion.

    A typical treatment plan may include vomit-inducing strategies in order to get the toxin out of the body. Charcoal and IV treatment may also be part of this plan. The pet is monitored to ensure that symptoms do not worsen.


    Sometimes, pet owners assume that their dogs can take the same medications that they do. This is simply not true! Ingestion can lead to vomiting, lethargy, GI ulceration, and even renal failure. In incredibly high doses, it may even cause coma or seizures.

    Treatment options for this type of ingestion are al little different because ibuprofen is absorbed so quickly. If detected early, then vomit induction may work. However, if it is over two hours since the animal swallowed it, then other treatments are necessary. In the case of suspected renal failure, many doses of activated charcoal are used.

    Grapes and Raisins

    Idiosyncratic is found in grapes and raisins and is said to cause kidney failure in pets if ingested. And an early sign of toxicity is excessive vomiting, but can easily lead to renal failure in as little as 24-48 hours.

    Induced vomiting is generally the treatment plan up to six hours after ingestion. It may be followed by a single dose of charcoal and IV fluids. Renal monitoring for up to 48 hours is required.


    Most fertilizers that people purchase are not toxic to animals. However, some can be. For instance, sewage sludge-based fertilizers may cause muscle stiffness or muscle pain. Typically, signs of ingestion occur between 12-24 hours after consumption.

    If only a small amount is ingested, then treatment may not be necessary. Some pets may require supportive fluids and monitoring to ensure that medications to relieve muscle pain are working.

    Rat Poisoning

    There are many types of rat poisoning out there, and they can each have an incredibly negative impact if consumed by pets. Common symptoms of this kind of toxin ingestion include lethargy, difficulty breathing, bleeding of the gums, pale gums, and can easily lead to death.

    The treatment plan for this type of poison is usually aggressive. Conventional treatments include decontamination, Vitamin K1 for up to 30 days after exposure, oxygen, blood transfusion, and a variety of supportive care.


    Toxin ingestion can be a terrifying thing to happen to your pet. If you suspect that your pet has eaten something that has impacted its health, then you should reach out to a veterinarian right away. Please contact our office to learn more about our services and what you should do if your pet is exposed to toxic agents. Animal Emergency Clinic of San Diego in for you when precious moments matter!