Toxic Dangers For Pets
Toxic Dangers For Pets
Gary Ginsberg (Toxicologist) gives expert video advice on: Is radon a hazard to my pets?; What household toxins are of a particular concern for pet owners?; Are some consumer products dangerous to my pets? and more...
Is radon a hazard to my pets?
Pets are not heavily studied, in terms of what causes illness in them, or not. There is no database, like a cancer registry, for pets, so we don't really know whether or not radon in your homes, for example, would be much of a risk for your dog or cat. The recent outbreak of food-borne illness in cats and dogs that actually led to their death--the melamine that has been coming in from China--is one of the signals that maybe we should be studying pets much more closely. Obviously, something in their diets that could have a serious health effect on them, and also, now, some of the studies we are seeing where lawn chemicals can have a special effect on your pets are important signals that they can be recipients of toxic exposures around the home, just as much as you or your children can be.
What household toxins are of a particular concern for pet owners?
If your dog tends to chew on wood surfaces, and of course your dog is spending time outside, it may be chewing on some pressure treated wood mixture. Some decking that's pressure treated, or posts... and by the way you should realized that the posts that go into the ground off of your deck have much higher levels of the pesticides, the arsenic based pesticide, than the floor boards or the hand rails because anything that makes ground contact is especially treated with the pesticide. Your dog is at ground level, maybe right next to these posts, maybe he decides to chew on it, he can get toxic levels of the pesticide into their system from chewing on the wood. As a matter of fact, it's been known for a while that goats and farm animals should never be near pressured treated wood structures because they can gnaw on it. Contact exposure with it can lead to high levels of pesticide exposure.
Are some consumer products dangerous to my pets?
There are enough toxic ingredients in consumer products that could be a health concern for your children or your pets. And pets may do inappropriate things like lick floors after they've been polished; they lick countertops that have a little bit of food residue or any kind of surface. So when you're treating a surface, for example with furniture polish, you want to make sure your pet isn't chewing on it or licking it because they'll be getting a direct exposure to what was in that can or what was in that wax and that may lead to much more toxicity than was ever dreamed of by the makers of that product.
Are certain plants dangerous to pets?
Some animals will tend to eat grass or eat leaves from plants. It's often not a problem but there are some poisonous plants around the yard that if your children or pets get into, for example Azalea and Rhododendron, can lead to toxic poisonings in your pets.