Caution In The Kitchen

AKC GAZETTE Breed Column
August 2005

(The Gazette breed column is written by Anne Katona. The August 2005 guest columnist is Scott Kellogg DVM. We are grateful to the author, guest columnist and to the AKC for their permission to publish all the Kerry Blue Terrier Breed Columns on the USKBTC website.)

There are several foods that are enjoyed by humans that can produce illness, and even death, if consumed in enough quantities by your dog.

  • Onions contain n-propyledisulfide, which can be toxic to red blood cells, causing their breakup with resulting anemia. Anemia can develop after consumption of a small amount of raw, cooked, or dehydrated onions (5-10 grams/kg body weight).
  • Garlic is also a member of the onion family, and chronic exposure to garlic and garlic extracts can cause anemia, contact dermatitis, and asthma attacks.
  • Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a potent cardiovascular and central nervous system stimulant, and can result in vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, convulsions, and death. The fatal toxic levels (LD50) vary for the type of chocolate ingested: milk chocolate-1 ounce chocolate per 1 pound dog body weight, semi-sweet chocolate-1 ounce chocolate per 3.3 pounds body weight: baking chocolate-1 ounce chocolate per 9 pounds body weight.
  • Grapes and raisins can produce vomiting, hyperactivity, diarrhea, and kidney damage-the toxic principle is unknown.
  • The sweetener xylitol, often found in gum and sugarless candies, can produce liver damage.
  • Raw salmon can produce disease if it contains certain rickettsia.
  • Raw or canned rhubarb can be toxic.
  • Ordinary potatoes, if grown too close to the soil surface, will develop a green skin due to sun exposure. The green skin (in addition to young sprouts) can contain a harmful substance.
  • Macadamia nut ingestion can cause depression, weakness, vomiting, and tremors.
  • The green parts of tomato plants are toxic.
  • Aloe contains saponins which can be toxic.
  • Moldy foods can contain mycotoxins, which can produce serious illness.
  • Avocados contain persin which can be toxic.
  • Hops, used in brewing ales, can produce hyperthermia, even from ingesting spent hops after brewing home-made beer.
  • Coffee and coffee grounds can produce caffeine toxicity.
  • Nutmeg (and mace) at higher levels (1-3 whole nutmegs) can produce tremors, seizures, even death.
  • Yeast dough from bread-making, can rise in the stomach, causing bloat-like symptoms, and produce toxin levels of ethanol.
  • Excessive salt can produce salt poisoning.
  • Fatty food ingestion can trigger bouts of pancreatitis, which cause vomiting, diarrhea, shock and even death.
  • Raw foods should be washed before feeding and never feed spoiled foods.

So show caution in the kitchen and keep possible dangerous foods in a safe, secure place. Make sure trash containers are secure and “dog-proof”. Avoid feeding fatty foods. Toxins are dose-dependent; questions about possible toxicities can be directed to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435), or the National Animal Poison Control Center at the University of Illinois (1-800-548-2423).

Keep your dogs safe! Find more information about the Kerry Blue Terrier from the official club website.

Thank you to this month’s guest columnist: Scott Kellogg DVM, Chairman of the USKBTC Health and Genetics Committee.

Anne Katona

Last Updated: 08/29/2005, 10:29 am