Some of the more common foods that are poisonous to small animals include the following:
Chocolate: particularly associated with dogs, but cats, rodents and rabbits are susceptible. It contains theobromine which has similar effects to caffeine and toxicity depends on the amount and type of chocolate ingested. White chocolate is not really toxic, milk requires treatment when over 9g/kg is consumed and dark chocolate requires treatment when over 1g/kg is consumed. The clinical signs include diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration progressing to hyperactivity, hyperthermia, hypertension and tachycardia. Muscle rigidity, tremors and convulsions can be in severe cases.
Grapes/raisins/currents/sultanas: are associated with kidney damage in dogs. The susceptibility to toxicity after eating these fruits varies between dogs some becoming sick (vomiting/diarrhoea, lethargy and abdominal pain) after consuming just a few so it is recommended that they are excluded from a dogs diet.
Xylitol: is an artificial sweetener in some foods and chewing gum. It is extremely harmful to dogs and acts as a potent stimulator of insulin causing hypoglycaemia (ataxia, tachycardia, convulsions and even coma). Liver failure has also been recorded.
Onions, garlic, leeks and chives: can be harmful even when cooked causing vomiting/diarrhoea and red blood cell destruction (anaemia). Beware of sage and onion stuffing in the turkey!
Some nuts (peanuts, macadamia nuts) can cause vomiting/diarrhoea and more severe signs affect the nervous system.
Mouldy bread and cheese: can be very harmful and cause muscle tremors and even seizures
Other poisons pets might be exposed to around the home include:
Lily poisoning: cats are particularly susceptible. All parts of the plant are toxic and the pollen often brushes off on the coat and is licked off. The toxin causes kidney failure and cats initially show clinical signs of toxicity within 2-6 hours (off their food, lethargic) and then (excessive drinking, excessive urination and convulsions)
Slug pellets (metaldehyde): can cause fatal poisoning and clinical signs (muscle spasm, convulsions) can occur with in a hour of consumption.
Rat poison: comes in 2 main types – Warfin based: causes interference to the clotting cascade and kills by causing massive coagulopathy and haemorrhage. the second type Alphachlorulose based- causes the rodent to fall asleep and die of hypothermia.
Ibuprofen: Is especially toxic and not uncommonly ingested by dogs. The clinical signs develop fast and include bloody diarrhoea and vomiting, abdominal tenderness, gastric ulceration and renal damage occurs.
Karaka Tree Berries are fatal in summer when fruits are turning golden colour , Dogs will eat these especially the hungrier ones