With the weather starting to change and Autumn drawing in, it’s a good idea to remind ourselves of the potential hazards to keep an eye out for, some quite serious, in order to keep our pugs safe.

  • Not only do piles of leaves hide what’s beneath them, they can develop bacteria and mould. If your dog ingests these it can lead to gastrointestinal upset.
  • Likewise, mouldy discarded foods can contain lots of different toxins, in particular on dairy products, bread or nuts, which can cause dogs to quickly develop muscle tremors or seizures.
  • Fermenting fruit, produces a natural alcoholic compound, which is toxic. If your dog eats such fruit, they are likely to suffer from sickness and diarrhoea, and also, may run the risk of having a toxic reaction to the natural alcohol produced by the fruit as part of its fermentation process.
  • Fruit stones, cherries, damsons, plumbs or similar if chewed produce cyanide, if swallowed whole, can cause choking or obstruction.
  • Acorns or horsechestnuts (conkers) can lead to sickness and diarrhoea, and if ingested in large quantities are toxic. They are also a choke hazard or can potentially become lodged in the gut causing a blockage, so make sure that your dog doesn’t eat any!
  • There are hard to identify, dangerous mushrooms, where signs of poisoning vary dramatically from stomach upset or blood in the stools to neurological effects such as hallucinations or fits, kidney or liver failure. The symptoms may present very suddenly or be delayed by days.
  • Poisoning from spring bulbs like daffodils, tulips or crocus are most likely to occur from being eaten in autumn when they are planted, or when they begin to flower in spring.
  • Fireworks can contain hazardous chemicals which can be poisonous to your dog. Initially these poisons can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, tummy pain and/or bloody stools. More severe effects may include seizures and the chemicals may also affect your dog’s breathing, kidneys and liver. Don’t let your dog into your garden unsupervised around Bonfire Night and other seasonal celebrations, without checking first that none have fallen into your garden.
  • Chocolate sales rise around Halloween, but remember it contains a stimulant called theobromine, poisonous to dogs. The amount of theobromine differs depending on the type of chocolate, dark chocolate having the most in it. Theobromine mainly affects the heart, central nervous system and kidneys.  Signs can occur from 4 to 24 hours following ingestion where you may see vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, hyperactivity, rapid breathing, muscle tension, lack of coordination, increased heart rate and possibly seizure.
  • The worst of all the chemical spills is antifreeze, (ethylene glycol) which can leak from a car’s radiator. Ingestion is very dangerous. It is sweet tasting and very palatable to dogs, though even a relatively small quantity can cause serious kidney damage or be fatal. The first signs of intoxication can be that your dog appears ‘drunk’.  If you know your dog has ingested ethylene glycol or you have any concerns, contact your vet without delay.  The prognosis is poorer the longer it takes to initiate treatment.

So please be extra vigilant, and if you suspect your dog has been affected in any way. Contact your vet as soon as possible to discuss symptoms.

For further related information, see:

The Kennel Club:
Dogs Trust:

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