Children’s Toys and Poisoned Pets

Children’s Toys and Poisoned Pets

If you suspect your dog or cat has been poisoned, you can call the Animal Poisons Centre for FREE advice on 1300 869 738 (from Australia) or 0800 869 738 (from New Zealand).

With many children now staying home from school, we are beginning to receive more calls about pets being exposed to children’s educational or sensory toys. The following are just some items that we have been called about over the last two weeks.

Slime: Most slime, whether homemade or store-purchased contains boron compounds such as Borax. Small ingestions do not typically cause anything more than minor gastrointestinal upset, however large amounts can result in more severe effects as well as possibly result in an obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract.

Play dough: Some dough, particularly the home-made varieties contain high levels of salt. Ingestion can result in high sodium levels in the body which can be very dangerous. If your dog ate homemade playdough, please call the Animal Poisons Centre immediately for advice.

Glowsticks: We sometimes get calls with the opening statement being “my dog ate a glow stick”. They contain chemicals which are irritating and very bitter. Dogs and cats may be exposed by chewing on fresh or spent sticks. Ingestion may result in drooling, vomiting and pawing at the mouth. Whilst not common, if a dog eats glow stick and actually swallows the plastic material, it can be a gastrointestinal obstruction risk. Cats tend to have a more dramatic reaction to these products.

Batteries: Ingestion of any battery is highly concerning and can potentially be life-threatening. Batteries can result in burns and possibly perforation of the gastrointestinal tract from the leakage of alkali electrolyte paste and from local chemical reactions at the negative terminal of the battery.

In these stressful times, we would like to remind you to be cautious with such items around your pet and ensure they are kept out of reach. If your pet has been exposed to anything they should not have, please call us on 1300 869 738 (from Australia) or 0800 869 738 (from New Zealand) for advice.

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