Top Ten Most Frequently Reported Poison Dangers for Dogs in 2011

Pet Poison Helpline Provides Insight for Dog Owners and Veterinarians

The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helplinehave perused their records for 2011, and determined the “Top Ten List” of potential poisons in our homes and yards that were the most commonly reported during 2011.

 “Each year we examine our records to determine what contributed to the most calls from pet owners and veterinarians,” said Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC and associate director of veterinary services for Pet Poison Helpline. “Since we spent the most time diagnosing and specifying treatments for dog-related emergencies, we’ve broken them down and produced a ‘top ten list’ designed to educate dog owners and provide veterinarians with the latest facts and statistics.”

Below is the Top Ten List from Pet Poison Helpline. Items are presented in order of frequency starting with foods, which accounted for the highest number of poisoning cases in 2011.

1.         Foods – specifically chocolate, xylitol, and grapes/raisins.

Certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. The chemical causing toxicity in chocolate is theobromine (a relative of caffeine). The darker, more bitter, and more concentrated the chocolate is, the more dangerous it is. Many sugarless gums and candies contain xylitol, a sweetener that is dangerous to dogs. When ingested, even in small amounts, it can result in a life-threatening drop in blood sugar or even liver failure. Raisins and grapes are often overlooked as one of the most toxic foods to dogs, and can result in kidney failure.

2.     Insecticides – including sprays, bait stations, and spot on flea/tick treatments.

Ingestion of insecticides and pesticides, especially those that contain organophosphates (e.g., disulfoton, often found in rose-care products), can be life-threatening to dogs, even when ingested in small amounts. While spot-on flea and tick treatments work well for dogs, they can be very toxic to cats when not applied appropriately. Cat owners should read labels carefully, as those that contain pyrethrins or pyrethroids (a derivative of the Chrysanthemum flower), are severely toxic if directly applied or ingested.

3.     Mouse and rat poison – rodenticides.

There are many types of chemicals in mouse and rat poisons, all with different active ingredients and types of action, making all of them potentially poisonous to dogs. Depending on what type was ingested, poisoning can result in internal bleeding, brain swelling, kidney failure, or even severe vomiting and bloat. Mouse and rat poisons also pose the potential for relay toxicity, meaning pets – and even wildlife – can be poisoned by eating dead rodents poisoned by rodenticides.

4.     NSAIDS human drugs – such as ibuprofen, naproxen.

Common drugs including NSAIDs (e.g. Advil®, Aleve® and Motrin) can cause serious harm to dogs when ingested, causes stomach and intestinal ulcers as well as potential kidney failure. The use of human NSAIDs in dogs is dangerous and should never be given without consulting Pet Poison Helpline or a veterinarian.

5.     Household cleaners – sprays, detergents, polishes.

Strong acidic or alkaline cleaners pose the highest risk due to their corrosive nature, and include common household products like toilet bowel cleaners, lye, drain cleaners, rust removers, and calcium/lime removers. Remember that “natural” does not necessarily mean safe, as some natural products can cause severe reactions. While general cleaners like glass products, spot removers and most surface cleaners have a wide margin of safety, it is still wise to keep them out of reach.

6.     Antidepressant human drugs – such as Prozac, Paxil, Celexa and Effexor.

Of all prescription medications, antidepressants account for the highest number of calls to Pet Poison Helpline. When ingested, they can cause neurological problems in dogs like sedation, incoordination, agitation, tremors and seizures.

7.     Fertilizers – including bone meal, blood meal and iron-based products.

While some fertilizers are fairly safe, certain organic products that contain blood meal, bone meal, feather meal and iron may be especially tasty – and dangerous – to dogs. Large ingestions can cause severe pancreatitis or even form a concretion in the stomach, obstructing the gastrointestinal tract.

8.     Acetaminophen human drugs – such as Tylenol and cough/cold medications.

Sizeable ingestions of acetaminophen can lead to severe liver failure and even dry eye in dogs. However, it should be noted that it is a more significant threat to cats, as a single Tylenol tablet can be fatal.

9.     Amphetamine human drugs – ADD/ADHD medications like Adderall and Concerta.

Medications used to treat ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) contain potent stimulants, such as amphetamines and methylphenidate. Even minimal ingestions by dogs can cause life-threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperatures and heart problems.

10.   Veterinary pain relievers – specifically COX-2 inhibitors like Rimadyl, Dermaxx and Previcox.

Carprofen, more commonly known by its trade name Rimadyl, is a veterinary-specific, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. While it is commonly used for osteoarthritis, inflammation, and pain control in dogs, if over-ingested in large amounts, it can result in severe gastric ulceration and acute kidney failure in dogs.

Just For Fun – Top Ten Breeds and Names

Along with the important information above, the veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline pulled from their records the “Top Ten” most common breeds and dog names, accounting for the most emergency calls in 2011.

The Top Ten Breeds accounting for the most calls to Pet Poison Helpline were:

1.     Mixed breeds

2.     Labrador retrievers

3.     Golden retrievers

4.     Chihuahuas

5.     Yorkshire terriers

6.     Dachshunds

7.     Shih Tzus

8.     Boxers

9.     Beagles

10.   German shepherds

The Top Ten Dog Names accounting for calls to Pet Poison Helpline in 2011, in descending order of popularity:

1.     Bella

2.     Lucy

3.     Max

4.     Molly

5.     Daisy

6.     Bailey

7.     Charlie

8.     Lily

9.     Maggie

10.   And last but not least – Sadie and Buddy were tied for tenth place!

Enjoy your dog’s companionship in 2012 and keep him safe with these life-saving tips from Pet Poison Helpline. If you think your dog may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. Pet Poison Helpline is the most cost-effective animal poison control center in North America charging, only $39 per call, including unlimited follow-up consultations.

About Pet Poison Helpline

Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control center based out of Minneapolis, is available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals that require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. The staff provides treatment advice for poisoning cases of all species, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, large animals and exotic species. As the most cost-effective option for animal poison control care, Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $39 per incident includes follow-up consultation for the duration of the poison case. Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. Additional information can be found online at

Pizzeria Piccola “Society Sundays” to Benefit Wisconsin Adopt A Golden Retriever

Wisconsin Adopt A Golden Retriever, Inc. (WAAGR) is the nonprofit group that will be featured for “Society Sundays” Feb. 12 at Pizzeria Piccola, 7606 W. State St. in Wauwatosa from 4 -9 p.m.

Enjoy a meal and help WAAGR raise funds to help the Golden Retrievers in the group’s care.  WAAGR members will be the wait staff, the table bussing staff and greeters for this event.  WAAGR makes a profit from every meal sold (including take out) and keeps all the tips.  Take-out orders can be placed in advance.  Some frozen menu items can also be pre-ordered and picked up the day of the event to take home:  Margherita, Sausage, and Spicey Salami (pepperoni) pizzas.  Call the restaurant at (414) 443-0800 or visit for more information.

“Stop by to enjoy a fantastic meal while helping the Golden Retrievers rescued by WAAGR,” said WAAGR President Amie Trupke.  “WAAGR volunteers look forward to participating in this event twice a year, and the restaurants’ patrons always have been so supportive of our efforts.  We rely solely on donations to help fulfill our mission.  We thank everyone who has attended in the past and we hope to see you again!”

WAAGR has taken part in this fundraiser since 2006.  WAAGR’s volunteers are appreciative of the response the organization has received at the restaurant.  For more information about this event and other WAAGR events, visit  If your nonprofit group is interested in participating in Society Sundays, contact Pizzeria Piccola General Manager Irene Lannoye at (414) 443-0800.

About Wisconsin Adopt A Golden Retriever

Wisconsin Adopt A Golden Retriever received its 501(c)(3) status in February 2005.  WAAGR’s mission is “To provide bright new beginnings to displaced Golden Retrievers.”  WAAGR is a volunteer rescue organization based in Southeastern Wisconsin.

  WAAGR has no paid staff and depends on the generosity of individuals that want to help provide a safe and happy life for Golden Retrievers that have lost their homes.  For more information about WAAGR, visit

Have you seen the new Ozaukee Campus?

Have you seen the new shelter that you made possible? Located 2 miles west of I43 on Highway 33 in Saukville, the Ozaukee Campus has become a major destination point in Ozaukee County! Adoptions have doubled in the new building, we’ve hosted a variety of tours and classroom field trips, and the first Scout Night Open House attracted over 100 children from the community.
  • If you haven’t yet stopped by, join us for a free tour. See the journey the animals take from the minute they walk into our Animal Arrivals to when they are adopted by loving families in their Adoption Suites.  Reserve your spot TODAY.
  • Reserve your Boy or Girl Scout troop’s spot for the 2012 Scout Night festivities. Come meet a certified therapy dog team, learn about animal safety, experience an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour, animal interaction and more!  For more information, click here or email Andrea.
  • Register for a dog training class. We also offer a Small Animal Care Seminar, indoor Pooch Playtime for well-socialized dogs, and more.
  • Become an Animal Care Volunteer. These very special people help us keep the animals happy, and the facility looking new. We do require that these volunteers be at least 18 years old, and commit to a 2-hour weekly shift.  If you are interested, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 262-988-5949 or email for further details.
  • Adopt. Check out the available puppies, kittens, dogs, cats and small animals at the shelter.
  • Donate! Whether you can give $10 or $100, every dollar makes an impact in our ability to save more lives, offer educational programming and continue to build a community that values animals with respect and kindness.


Tellington Touch Dog Massage Class

Thursday, February 2, 2012, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Wisconsin Humane Society – Milwaukee Campus, 4500 W. Wisconsin Avenue
De-stress your dog and yourself with the therapeutic effects of Tellington Touch (TTouch). Tellington Touch is a gentle and easy to learn method of touch and movement. TTouch can help with challenges such as barking, biting, chewing, digging, noise sensitivity, aging, anxiety, aggressive or reactive behavior, shyness, grooming or vet visit concerns and more!
This workshop is for dogs of all ages and their families to discuss what causes stress, signs of stress and how you can help free yourself and your dog from it.
This two-hour hands-on session with your dog will introduce you to the benefits of incorporating TTouch into your pet’s life and will help you and your pet achieve the highest quality of life through mental, physical and emotional balance.

TTouch uses gentle movements and manipulations that help change behavior patterns and teach the animal to think, rather than react, improves learning ability and performance and helps to calm and focus. There is a $40.00 fee for this class and space is limited to 6 dogs and their families.

Scout Night at Wisconsin Humane Society Ozaukee Campus

Boy and Girl Scouts from Ozaukee County are invited to Scout Night on Wednesday, February 8 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. at the Wisconsin Humane Society Ozaukee Campus, 630 W. Dekora Street in Saukville. The kids will take a behind-the-scenes tour of the new shelter, getting to see the veterinary clinic, doggie day spa, the behavior department, and more! Learn about and interact with cats/kittens and make a cat toy to take home.  Scouts will also learn about dogs and dog training while spending time in Pooch Palace.

 There is a $5.00 per scout and $3.00 per adult chaperone fee due at the time of registration. The shelter can accommodate a total of up to 60 scouts per date (multiple troops attend).  If you have questions, please contact Andrea Swanson at (262) 988-5947 or

Fred M. Tileston Jr. Shares Humorous And Touching Stories Of A Lovably, Crazy Rottweiler’s Life

“Lessons I Learned from Myra (And Other Valuable Life Lessons!)”, a book by Fred M. Tileston Jr., contains lessons learned by the Tileston family from their fun but challenging experiences raising, training and caring for Myra, the family dog.

When the family first brought Myra home, they did not know what they were in for. Their unique dog caused all kinds of challenges but also worked her way deep into their hearts, leaving their lives forever changed by knowing her. Each of the 20 chapters contains a humorous and touching lessons learned from the experiences of Myra’s life. The lessons include “You cannot stop a fast-moving BMW with your teeth,” “An invisible fence is not really invisible” and “Obedience is a relative expression.”
“The stories describe the lasting impact Myra had on our family and on myself as the alpha male in particular,” says Tileston. “They are authentic, humorous and Myra taught us more than we ever imagined at the time.”
Titleston tells of the time his family first brought Myra home after she had rendered him helplessly enamored by climbing into and snuggling asleep in his lap, of the family’s misadventures as they tried to teach Myra to obey and of Myra’s final days. Written to engage, entertain and touch the heart, the book is intended to appeal to pet lovers of all ages.
“Lessons I Learned from Myra (And Other Valuable Life Lessons!)”is available for sale online at (both paperback and e-book) as well as other channels.
About the Author: Fred M. Tileston, Jr. lives with his wife in their house on the Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area where they raised their sons and the family dog, Myra. “Lessons I Learned from Myra (And Other Valuable Life Lessons!)” is his first published work.

Please join us for a fundraising event for the Safe Haven Program!

Companion Art Gallery Friday, Feb. 17

2680 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.*

                                                                            Bay View

The Wisconsin Humane Society and Sojourner Family Peace Center have partnered to provide the Safe Haven program, which offers up to 60 days of shelter for animals of domestic violence victims. Many victims are hesitant to leave a dangerous situation because they fear for their animal’s safety. This program makes it possible for victims to leave a dangerous situation without losing their companion animal. Animals provide companionship, comfort, and unconditional love to families affected by domestic violence, and preserving the bond between families and their animals is vitally important.

Companion Art Gallery will donate 20% of sales during the event and will sponsor a Silent Auction and Raffle on behalf of the Safe Haven Program.

Bay View Bean Company, Le Boutique so Chic, and Oscillations Art & Music Eclectic will also offer art and gift items for sale and will donate a portion of proceeds to the Safe Haven Program.

Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages provided

 Music by Gary Alan

 * Remarks by Jill Cline, WHS Education & Advocacy Manager, at ~7 pm

 Admission is free, donations to Safe Haven Program appreciated!

 Please contact Sandy Sykora at 486-1891 or for more information or to RSVP.

Or, visit Companion Art Gallery on Facebook and click on “event” to RSVP.