Iron products and your pets

Iron products and your pets

The Animal Poisons Helpline often receives calls about pets (most commonly dogs) ingesting iron containing products. Such products may include certain snail baits, iron containing supplements, oxygen absorber sachets, fertilisers, and iron-based heat patches.

Whilst serious poisoning is rare, if enough iron is ingested then life-threatening toxicity can occur. The actual risk associated with these cases is highly dependent on the amount of elemental iron ingested and the size of the animal. Large iron ingestions are expected to damage the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and early signs of poisoning can include vomiting which may contain blood, salivation, lack of interest in food and abdominal pain. After this stage, severely poisoned animals may appear to temporarily improve, only to go on to develop progressive multi-organ failure which can be life-threatening.

☎ If you suspect your pet has ingested an iron containing product, please phone the Animal Poisons Helpline on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ) for advice. We can rapidly assess your pet’s exposure to determine if they will be at risk of poisoning and if they require urgent veterinary assessment.

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This post has been made possible by a grant from Animal Welfare Victoria.