Josie and Maggie

Josie and Maggie

Last month, the Animal Poisons Helpline was contacted regarding a pair of Kerry Blue Terriers named Josie and Maggie. These two inquisitive girls managed to lick up some spilt marker dye that was being added to a herbicide mix.

Whilst the pigment in the dye itself is not particularly harmful, it is dissolved in a toxic alcohol solvent known as diethylene glycol. Diethylene glycol is metabolised in the liver to an acidic compound, which is then cleared through the kidneys causing damage on its way out.

Fortunately, Josie and Maggie’s owner contacted the Animal Poisons Helpline soon after the ingestion. Our team were rapidly able to determine that the marker dye contained a toxic solvent and recommended immediate veterinary treatment. As a result of this advice, Josie and Maggie both received timely veterinary care and had a good outcome.

This is just one example of how the Animal Poisons Helpline assists pet owners in Australia and New Zealand. We do this all day long, every day, for free. Our service is in fact the only animal poisons centre in the world to provide a free service, something we are very proud of and strive to maintain into the future. As the Helpline now handles almost 10,000 cases like Josie and Maggie’s each year, we are thrilled to be achieving our mission of reducing the morbidity and mortality that is associated with animal poisonings.

If you believe that the Animal Poisons Helpline is a worthy cause, please donate now at and support our team over this very busy summer period. All proceeds go directly to assisting poisoned animals in Australia and New Zealand.

If you are concerned your pet has ingested something they should not have, please phone the Animal Poisons Helpline on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ) for advice.

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