Dogs and cats are naturally inquisitive individuals. The phrase "curiosity killed the cat" didn't arise without reason! Pets often investigate with their mouths, ingesting foreign materials that can result in internal poisoning. Thankfully, toxicity is easy to avoid.
Common Toxic Household Items
Here's a list of some household items that are common culprits of emergency visits to the vet:
- Human over-the-counter medications
- Human prescriptions
- BBQ fixings
- Recreational drugs
- Jerky treats
- Grapes and raisins
- Rat poison
- Macadamia nuts
Why and How Are They Toxic?
Ingestion of any of these items can cause a myriad of symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea. Depending on the potency, they can even cause death.
- Chocolate contains theobromine which acts like caffeine, leading to rapid heart rate.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can result in death. Ibuprofen (Advil) can lead to stomach ulcers.
- Beta blockers can cause heart arrhythmia. Some pets puncture and chew on asthma inhalers, ingesting large steroid doses, resulting in rapid heart rate, vomiting and fainting.
- Brush bristles, bones and corn cobs swallowed at BBQs can get lodged in a pet's throat or stomach, tearing up the intestinal lining and causing obstruction. Punctured butane lighters can cause dizziness, coma, seizures or disorientation. Pets can also consume an overload of processed meat--fat and grease included.
- Chewing gum has xylitol, leading to acute hypoglycemia and liver failure in dogs.
- Marijuana, or cannabis, is toxic to pets. Hemp oil has CBD but little to no THC so psychoactive effects are avoided. Vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms of cannabis ingestion. Alcohol and caffeine also have adverse health effects in pets.
- When pets get hold of a TV remote, they can also get hold of a battery. Arsenic toxicity can result, causing abdominal pain, lethargy, and stumbling.
- Still under investigation, jerky treats have been linked to thousands of pet deaths over the past decade.
- Grapes and raisins can lead to acute renal failure in dogs.
- Onions can cause hemolytic anemia.
- Garlic can result in excessive panting and weakness.
- Pesticides and rodenticides are often accidentally ingested by dogs leading to severe anemia.
- Some lily plants can cause seizures in cats.
- Macadamia nuts can result in tremors or hyperthermia in dogs.
How Holistic Medicine Treats Toxicity
An array of natural modalities can be employed to treat toxicity.
- Acupuncture. Certain acupressure points stimulate detox in the same way that other acupressure points stimulate healing or blood flow.
- Herbs. Traditional Chinese herbs as well as household herbs, leaves and spices can clean out the system. They prevent build-up of toxins and remove existing toxins from the bloodstream.
- Diet. Nutrition plays a vital role in immune system strength. With a healthy, balanced, moderated diet, the body is allowed to focus on detoxifying foreign substances instead of splitting its time between multiple maintenance issues, some of which would otherwise be unnecessary.
- Supplements. Products like Orenda, Standard Process and Rx Vitamins boost the immune system.
The world is full of chemical products that seep into groundwater, soil and the air. Toxins can accumulate inside your dog or cat's body without you even knowing it.
Both natural and man-made chemicals exist that can harm your pet directly and indirectly. Acupuncture and holistic medicine can act as maintenance in this regard, cleansing what you might not have even recognized needed detoxing.
Other Instances Employing Holistic Detox
Many owners seek holistic care as a cure for cancer or an avoidance of vaccinations. In some instances, especially emergency scenarios or legalities, dual modalities are used. This combined treatment between Western and Eastern medicine is called adjunctive therapy.
With an aggressive disease like cancer, the body has already overlooked 50 checks and balances when it reaches that stage. When radiology or chemo are deemed necessary, holistic therapies can be used to help detox the body, allowing it to focus on healing.
Over-vaccination is a common issue in medicine, but certain vaccines, like Rabies, are required by law for good reason. In instances when vaccines are required for your pet's protection, holistic detoxes can help keep the immune system strong after vaccination.
Recognize Emergency Toxicity Situations
Toxin accumulation can occur slowly over time, but acute toxic overloads often warrant immediate emergency care. Sometimes you can monitor your pet for symptoms related to toxicity before making the decision to seek treatment, while other times, if you catch your pet in the act, you'll want to take him or her to the vet immediately. Calling the veterinarian or the poison control helpline (1-855-213-6680) can guide you in the right direction.
Additionally, if your pet is showing any of these signs, seek emergency care prior to developing a holistic treatment plan:
- Excessive vomiting
- Excessive diarrhea
- Pale gums