I couldn’t help noticing a headline this morning which warned of the unexpected hazards to pets which could be lurking in our homes. Keen to learn more about seemingly innocuous items which could kill my cat, I started to read the article and was astonished to find that I was being warned to keep antifreeze away from cats and dogs.
Antifreeze! Blow me down with a feather. I didn’t see that one coming. There’s me thinking that antifreeze would be a great substitute if I ever happened to run out of cat milk. A cat milk drought is certainly a health hazard in my house as the resulting plaintive moaning could one day be the direct cause of me murdering my moggie.
Only kidding! But is there anyone over the age of five who doesn’t know that antifreeze is dangerous for pets! I was ready to add a suitably cynical comment to the offending piece when I realised that it did mention a couple of potential hazards that I hadn’t really thought about – batteries and coins.
Not that my cat would ever eat either of these items but my friend’s dog definitely would. She will eat literally anything as illustrated by her visit today during which I had to forcibly remove an elastic band, the remote control for my DVD player and one of my shoes from her mouth!
I often have spare batteries and coins lying around and I have no idea if the dog has ever tried to eat them. But I will now perform a sweep of the house to remove any stray bits and pieces, just in case.
Batteries may be advertised as being helpful to the Duracell Bunny but real bunnies wouldn’t fare so well if they happened to have a nibble. Batteries can cause nasty burns. All batteries are dangerous to pets but it is those little disc shaped ones found in toys, watches and other small devices which are particularly problematic. They are easy to swallow whole, unlike my remote control, and can lead to chemical burns in the digestive tract.
So, what should you do if you pooch swallows a battery? Well, it is best to rinse out their mouth with water and then get them to the vet as soon as possible.
Coins can cause blocked airways and gastric obstructions. But many coins also feature a large amount of zinc. If zinc makes its way into an animal’s bloodstream, it can cause heart failure. Coins can pass through your pet without causing any issues at all but if you suspect that your animal has swallowed one, get them to the vet for an x-ray. The coin could explain symptoms which develop later.
I don’t think that my canine friend has swallowed any coins but I do know that she has eaten a £20 note which my friend had left out for her son. The paper posed no threat to the dog but my friend was a different matter when she found out!