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Dear Friend of Pets Unlimited,

Shopping Works Wonders
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"I can't believe Fido just scarfed down three chocolate bars AND a tennis ball!" From chocolate to tennis balls to that questionable chunk of fuzzy leftovers in your garbage, we have seen it all in our waiting room. Many pet guardians don't realize what could be considered poisonous to their pet, or don't quite understand what constitutes "safely out of reach" for a bored, hungry, and determined pet. 


While we live in an age where we worry about the effects of genetically modified crops and whether mobile phones will cause cancer, it's also very beneficial to our pets to focus on the dangers that are common byproducts of urban life.  So, in no particular order, here are some of the top toxins that bring pets to our emergency room:


1. Rodenticides (rat poison, mouse poison, gopher bait): Depending on the type, these poisons can cause fatal hemorrhage, kidney failure, or brain swelling. Because they are designed to be EATEN by rodents, most dogs will find them fairly tasty as well, and are not remotely put off by their alarming green or blue color.


2. Pyrethrins are chemical insecticides used to kill fleas found in a variety of over-the-counter sprays, shampoos, dips, and spot-on treatments.  Some cats are extremely sensitive to these products (or mistakenly receive the stronger products labeled for use in dogs only), and application can cause muscle tremors, excitability, disorientation, drooling, and seizures. 
3. Antidepressants and Anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, Rimadyl and other veterinary pain medications): Anyone who's ever struggled to give a pet a pill will be forgiven for wondering why an animal would voluntary consume tablets that fall on the floor or are left out on a table (in or out of the package).  I wonder that a lot myself.  But many will, and do, consume high doses of antidepressant drugs or combinations of drugs that can cause "Serotonin Syndrome," leading to disorientation, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and heart problems. Overdoses can cause severe gastrointestinal upset and ulcers as well as damage to the kidneys and/or liver.  

4. Xylitol is a common ingredient in sugar-free gum, candies, pudding, and also some human dental care products.  Dogs unfortunately metabolize this compound differently from humans, and ingestion can cause severe low blood sugar, liver failure, and hemorrhage.      


5. Chocolate (and caffeine): Depending on the amount ingested, these compounds cause hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, elevated heart rate, tremors, and seizures.  Unlike the other items on this list, almost all pet guardians are aware of this toxicity, they just underestimate their dog's ability to find and eat all available chocolate!  


6. Marijuana ingestion leads to depression and disorientation with muscle tremors, weakness, incontinence, and, in severe cases, seizures and coma.  Prognosis is usually good as THC has a wide safety margin, but treatment can be complicated by the slow elimination of the drug from the body and the family's reluctance to admit what the dog ate.      


7. Lily toxicity occurs only in cats.  Acute damage to the kidneys occurs after ingestion of ANY part of the plant - stem, stamen, leaves, petals, or pollen.  Prognosis is good with early and aggressive treatment, but guarded to poor if the cat is already showing signs of kidney failure.        


8. Grapes and raisins may cause kidney failure when eaten by dogs.  It is a poorly understood toxicity - not all dogs are affected, but there is no reliable test for it and the toxic amount can be very small.  However, prognosis is good with early and aggressive treatment.


If you know or suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian right away.  We also recommend consulting the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.  Save any remaining packaging, as well any material your pet didn't manage to scarf down, and bring it with you to the animal hospital - it will help us provide the best possible treatment.


ShoppingWorksWondersHelp Our Shelter Animals:

Shopping Works Wonders!  

You are invited to shop 'til you drop at Shopping Works Wonders!
10AM - 9PM
Bloomingdale's San Francisco - 845 Market Street
Fashion-packed savings, wonderful cause. Bring your furry friend and shop 'til you drop! Visit the Pets Unlimited shelter animals on Level 1 all day and enjoy pet-themed fun throughout the store from 12-5PM. 10% of the sales from your total purchases during this event will be donated to Pets Unlimited. Plus, receive a $15 bMoney card for almost every $150 you spend.* When your shopping is complete, simply present your invitation and your receipts at the redemption desk next to the Concierge desk located on Level 1.**

*Certain exclusions apply. Not valid on bloomingdales.com.  **Visit the redemption desk for details.
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