Spring is here! With the beautiful weather come green grass, flowers and little pests who invade both our lawns and gardens. Unfortunately, some of those chemicals we use outdoors such as metaldehyde, organophosphates and glyphosate are quite toxic to our furry friends. Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, we want to help you keep your pet as safe as possible as you try to keep those pesky critters and weeds away, while also enjoying what spring brings.
Metaldehyde is a chemical often used to keep slimey critters like snails and slugs away. The bait used to lure these critters is quite tasty to dogs and cats and can cause neurologic signs if ingested. Other signs to look for include anxiety, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling and panting. Typically, metaldehyde can be found in body fluids, such as blood and urine, which would be needed to diagnose toxicity. Treatment requires immediate hospitalization and unfortunately there is no antidote available if your fur-kid were to ingest this chemical. Prevention of metaldehyde toxicity is easy if you are able to keep your pets away from the areas that contain bait.
Insecticides are typically made out of something called organophosphates. Toxicity most often will take place when a dog or cat is over exposed to these chemicals due to misuse or exposure to multiple types of insecticides at once. Organophosphates are typically absorbed through the skin, lungs or GI tract and will affect the nervous system. Common symptoms of toxicity include difficulty breathing, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle weakness. Diagnosis will require blood work to evaluate electrolyte levels and organ function and treatment typically will involve hospitalization as well. The best way to prevent organophosphate toxicity is by researching chemicals before they are used anywhere near your home and to follow directions exactly.
Glyphosate is a chemical often found in what we would refer to as Round Up as well as other similar products. This chemical isn’t as toxic as others can be to our furry friends, but can cause vomiting if ingested. Once dry, this chemical is typically deemed safe for dogs and cats because once dry, it has been taken up by the roots of plants. Glyphosates can be absorbed through the skin, mouth and lungs. Symptoms typically will appear within 30 minutes to 2 hours and can include excitability, depression, a slow heartbeat and they may not be able to walk straight. The best way to prevent glyphosate toxicity is to wait until the chemical is dry before allowing your pet to come in contact with the treated area.
If there is any possibility of your dog or cat coming in contact with any harmful chemical, be sure to contact your veterinary immediately in order for them to receive the medical attention that they need.