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Readers Respond: What Toxins Has Your Dog Gotten Into?

Responses: 51


Dark Chocolate Lindt Balls, doggy!

My 2 1/2 year old Siberean Husky got into my husband's valentine's day gift. She unwrapped 10 of the 15 Dark Chocolate Lindt balls and got chocolate all over our bedspread. She seemed fine until 4:30 am the next morning when for about 45 minutes she threw up. My husband rubbed her belly for awhile and she was fine the next day! I don't know what she is thinking of! My husband said today...that we think she is suicidal. :D
—Guest Rebecca

Belgian chocoate truffles almost fatal

My dog was sick for days, wish I had made him vomit with a bit of hydrogen peroxide early on. I gave him toast and then ended up spending $600 at the emergency vet. All the fat and sugar in addition to the chocolate weakens their liver, and then he had a toxic reaction to the flagyl type meds the doc gave him for diarrhea. Make them do a blood test and check his potassium after all this. Keep charcoal poison meds at home for emergency and call poison control for help if off hours.


Years ago, I came home from work to find my 10 year old collie collapsed at the foot of my bed. Her abdomen was very distended and she was moaning in distress. Thinking she had bloated, I was ready to rush her to the vet when I noticed that the door to my lazy susan was open and a 4 pound box of dog bones was empty. About this time she started to vomit. Sometimes it isn't about what they eat but how much.
—Guest connie plasterer

Unidentified Toxin

My Lab presented with ataxia, frothing at the mouth,and confusion. Initial dx was idiopathic vestibular disease. Her condition worsened and within 12 hours she was having severe convulsions. Examination of stomach contents yielded a small piece of amphibian skin...frog, snake...
—Guest BarbieO2000

Cocoa Mulch

My dog had a strange attraction to this mulch; I realized that it was because it smelled just like chocolate. Cocoa mulch has the highest concentration of theobromine (the chemical that's toxic to dogs) of nearly any chocolate product! It's a small, light-weight husk that could potentially cause an obstruction as well. Check it out on Snopes.com for more info.

Shadow and the Chocolate Factory

My dog, Shadow (a black miniature Dochsy) managed to "steal" and eat an entire large sized Hershey bar. I had it up on a table taller than he is when on his hind legs. However, he got it, ate it and was truly ill - vomiting, Diarrhea and panting. After rushing him to the emergency vet, charcoal, induced vomiting and staying overnight, he was fine. I was really uptight and thought that my carelessness had cost me my loyal companion. I will never leave ANYTHING that is harmful to my dog within his smell, sight or any other sense area. Once burned by chocolate was far than enough for me! wthompson
—Guest SHadow

Chocolate chips

When I was a little girl my Cocker Spaniel, Cedar got into a bag of chocolate chips. He ate the entire bag. We didn't end up taking him to the vet, just many emergency walks so he could expel. Now I own two Great Danes that can reach higher than me.
—Guest Chocolate chips

Rural toxins

In the last two years we have had to come to grips with a couple of incidents where our dogs have became ill or died. Firstly we live in rural Tasmania (southern Australia). We have horses and fowls. As horse owners will know, horses need to be wormed. We discovered worming paste was the cause of our dog being poisoned twelve months after having to have her euthanized. The small amounts that fall to the ground are enough to give grave problems to your dog. The veterinary diagnosis was twisted bowel. Secondly, rotting fish caused our old Lab cross to be unable to move. Curiously, if we moved any part of her to a position, it stayed there. Odd, but caused by an enzyme in the rotting fish which breaks down vitamin B: itself important in nervous transmission in dogs. Treatment was a vitamin B shot and human vit B tabs for a week. Lastly, fowl layer pellets contain a toxin similar to that of chocolate which causes liver dysfunction and failure. Treatment: steroid shot.
—Guest Shaun

what toxins did your dog get into?

We almost lost our Malamute when our neighbors had their yard sprayed. It drifted onto our grass,. he walked on it and licked his paws. The poor boy was never quite the same after that.


My husband threw his inhaler in the bathroom garbage when the medicine inside was gone. For some reason my dog pulled it out (the vet thinks because it smelled like my husband) and carried it into another room. While doing this he punctured the canister and a small amount of some remaining medicine got into his mouth. I noticed his heart was racing when I pet him and then I saw the inhaler on the floor. I rushed him to the ER vet and they had to give him charcoal and keep him overnight. He was eventually ok but gave us quite the scare. He could have had a heart attack but apparently he didn't ingest enough. I never would have thought the dog would touch something like that but now any used inhalers get wrapped up and thrown in the kitchen garbage that has a lid.


I was in a church parking lot at dusk. I looked it over real well to make sure there was no antifreeze about. Since it had recently been repaved, it looked free of anything. I happened to see my dog drop his head; just the way the light caught the area he seemed to be sniffing, I caught the green reflection of antifreeze. I took him into the emergency vet who ran a test. Sure enough he had managed to ingest just a small quantity. He was at the vet all night being flushed out and having kidney panels run. In the morning, I had to transfer him to my regular vet to continue the flushing out & additional kidney panels. Fortunately, he was OK and had no kidney damage. It was very frightening. We are extremely careful with our dogs to make sure they stay out of trouble
—Guest MMaxie88

Mouse Poison

I always keep mouse poison in my garage because of the field mice. One day I must not have shut the door tight and my dog got in. She found the box and ate all the contents. This resulted in a rush trip to the vet.

Redwood Mulch and dogs

I put out some redwood mulch in my garden. Soon afterward my German Shepard was having bloody diarrhea. I took her to the vet who diagnosed her with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis and put her on a full spectrum antibiotic. I couldn't find any information anywhere that the mulch had caused anyone any problems so the next year in order to try and keep the weeds in the garden at a minimum, I tried the mulch again. This time my dog go so sick she had to stay at the vet's for 3 days on iv antibiotics and nearly needed a transfusion. Fortunately, she survived. I have never used any kind of mulch again.

Dog toxins - grapes

This is about my friend's dog. He owned a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a vineyard. When the grapes were ready but not picked yet, his dog went into the vineyard and ate quite a few. Several hours later, the dog was staggering, having trouble breathing, drooling, and eventually collapsed. This was many years ago, so we suspected antifreeze, even though there was none around. At that time grapes were not known to be a toxin to dogs. Sadly the dog died, and the vet was never sure what killed him. My dog never got into anything because I supervised her and never allowed her to roam freely. (she also lived on the same vineyard)
—Guest red dog

toxic to dogs

although rare, Kentucky coffee trees do exist and the seeds and pods are poisonous to animals and could be fatal.

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