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Posted on 10-20-2016

Our Solomons Veterinarian Explains How to Avoid Pet Poisoning This Halloween

It’s fun and games when the ghosts and goblins yell ‘Trick or Treat’ at your door on Halloween night in Solomons. But what’s not fun and games are the potential tricks hiding in the treats that could cause pet poisoning for your dog. Our veterinarian at Solomons Veterinary Medical Center gives the lowdown on those treats that turn into tricks.

Dog and cat in halloween costumes in solomons

Sugar-free Gum, Sugar-free Candy and Xylitol

The dangerous ingredient found in sugar-free treats is xylitol, a natural sweetener also used in other foods. The degree of danger depends on the amount ingested by the dog, and likewise, some products contain a higher concentration than others. The hazard inherent with xylitol is a sudden and deadly drop in the dog’s blood sugar levels. The symptoms of pet poisoning from xylitol are:

·         Weakness

·         Lethargy

·         Vomiting

·         Tremors

·         Seizures

·         Black, tarry stool

·         Coma

·         Death


In spite of its tantalizing taste and smell to humans, chocolate is extremely toxic for dogs because of methylxanthines, a substance containing caffeine and theobromine. The amount of methylxanthines in the chocolate depends on its richness: very dark chocolate contains much more than does milk chocolate. The symptoms of pet poisoning from chocolate include:

·         Vomiting

·         Diarrhea

·         Raised temperature

·         Increased reflexes

·         Rigid muscles

·         Increased heart rate

·         Panting

·         Low blood pressure

·         Seizures

·         Possibly cardiac failure, weakness and coma

Candy Wrappers

Little goblins like to eat their treats along the way, leaving a trail of candy-wrappers behind them. Wrappers pose yet another hazard for dogs. Ingested candy wrappers can do a number on your dog’s intestinal tract, perhaps even causing a blockage that needs to be dealt with surgically by our Solomons veterinarian. If your pet has eaten a small wrapper, chances are it will pass through the digestive tract and be expelled in the stool. Larger wrappers can indeed cause a blockage resulting constant vomiting. If this is the case, the vet will need to take an x-ray to diagnose the blockage.

See Our Trusted Vet in Solomons

If your dog ever shows any signs of pet poisoning, please call us as soon as possible  at 410-394-9117 so our vet in Solomons can treat him or her.

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