Common Spring Poisons 

22 February 2024

Blog | News

Our Internal Medicine team see a number of pets referred to us this time of year who have ingested a natural material out on a walk or something they have found at home!

Common Dog poisons

Slug and snail pellets – metaldehyde poisoning is very serious and requires urgent treatment. Dogs may appear unsteady and twitchy; this could lead into continuous convulsions 

Spring flowers – like daffodils and tulips can cause vomiting and diarrhoea

Chocolate – chocolate poisoning is the most commonly reported type of poisoning. Symptoms may include vomiting and diarrhoea , dehydration, hyperactivity, and tremors 

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – dogs should never be given Ibuprofen; if ingested, symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea, gut bleeding, stomach ulcers and kidney failure 

Rodent poisons – ingestion of rodent poisoning may cause life-threatening internal bleeding, suspected ingestion requires urgent treatment 

Common cat poisons 

Symptoms of poisoning in cats include: hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, collapse, twitching or seizures, difficulty breathing, and inflammation or swelling of skin 

Common and potentially severe poisons for cats include: paracetamol, lilies, antifreeze (ethylene glycol), spot-on flea treatments that are made for dogs, and snug and snail pellets 

What to do

Stay calm! 

  • Remove the source of poison if safe and possible 
  • Immediately contact your vet, do not ‘wait and watch’ 
  • Follow your vet’s advice; your pet may need to be seen as an emergency, they may ask you to bring wrappers/packaging/plants with you 
  • Do not attempt to treat or medicate your pet yourself 
  • Never attempt to make your pet vomit 
  • If the skin or fur is contaminated then wash with a mild shampoo such as baby shampoo and rinse well 
  • Keep your pet away from any other animals in the house