Pets, Poisons and Kidney Injury

Pets, Poisons and Kidney Injury

The Animal Poisons Centre is often called about dogs and cats that have eaten medications and household items that can damage their kidneys. Some pets may develop life-long chronic kidney disease from such a once-off ingestion. Prevention is always best – check this list to see if your home is “kidney safe” for your pet.

NSAIDs (ibuprofen, diclofenac, meloxicam, etc) – the number one “kidney killer” in Australia and New Zealand. All non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have the potential to cause kidney damage depending on the dose and your pet’s individual sensitivity. This is why NSAIDs for people should never be given to a pet without first checking with your vet. Those NSAIDs prescribed for a pet, should be given at the labelled dose. Dogs are curious and if allowed access to bottles of tablets are likely to eat all of them; especially if they are chewable veterinary prescription NSAIDs.

Grapes and sultanas (dogs) – they taste sweet and dogs naturally have a sweet tooth (have you noticed this?). However, grapes and their derivatives (e.g., sultanas, raisins, currants) can cause kidney damage in dogs. The dose at which this might occur is very unpredictable and therefore we recommend avoiding feeding grapes and grape derivatives to dogs.

Lilies (cats) – specifically the Lilium and Hemerocallis species. Every part of these plants is considered poisonous to cats including the vase water and the pollen which a cat may get on their face and mouth just from sniffing the flowers. It is best to avoid these plants in houses with cats.

Vitamin D3 – many people take vitamin D supplements and multivitamins that contain vitamin D. Vitamin D derivatives can also be found in some psoriasis creams and uncommonly in some rodent baits. Dogs in particular are sensitive to the extra vitamin D contained in these products – keep them well away from your pooch.

Ethylene glycol – common in antifreeze/coolant (and other mechanical fluids), it is extremely poisonous to both dogs and cats and they readily drink it from puddles on the floor. Keep bottles locked away and high up on shelves and attend to any leaked or spilt fluid straight away.

If you think your pet has been exposed to any of these items, call us on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ) for a tailored risk assessment and recommendation, including first aid measures. Our service is free for all pet owners.