08 Jul Vitamin D and your Dog
Did you know that vitamin D can be dangerous to pets if consumed in excessive quantities? Such exposures may occur when pets have access to containers of human vitamin D supplements, psoriasis creams or vitamin D containing rodenticides. Dogs seem to find vitamin D supplements tasty and are known to ingest entire containers of them if given a chance to do so.
Concentrated ‘once weekly’ or ‘once monthly’ supplements, prescription supplements, psoriasis creams and vitamin D containing rodenticides are particularly concerning and can result in severe and potentially lethal effects with relatively small ingestions. Vitamin D is currently on the Helpline’s poisons watchlist due to an increase in the use of these supplements associated with a lack of sunshine hours during winter. There may also be an increased use of vitamin D containing rodenticides because of the mouse plague, which continues to affect many parts of eastern Australia.
Excess vitamin D causes an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in the body. If the calcium and phosphorous levels go too high, life-threatening mineralisation and hardening of organs such as the kidneys, stomach, intestines, and the heart can occur. Whilst early symptoms can include refusal to eat, vomiting, lethargy, and weakness; more severe effects may take days to develop.
To keep your pets safe, store all medications out of reach and preferably locked away. Do not leave medications on bench tops or tables, and keep handbags and backpacks closed and off the ground. Pets shouldnot be allowed to lick skin which was has been recently treated with topical psoriasis preparations. Store rat baits in pet-proof containers and out of reach of your pets. Use only as much bait as is necessary, and ensure baits are always removed when they are no longer required.
For a toxic ingestion of vitamin D, early veterinary treatment can not only be lifesaving, but it can prevent the need for weeks of expensive therapy.
Pet insurance provides peace of mind and protection in the event that your pet is ever poisoned. Our platinum sponsor Bow Wow Meow for Pets is currently offering two months free pet insurance in the first year of coverage for Animal Poison Helpline followers. Visit bowwowinsurance.com.au/poisons and enter APH368 at checkout to take advantage of this offer.
☎ If you think your pet has ingested a vitamin D containing product, please call us immediately on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ), even if they look completely well. We can risk assess your pet’s exposure and let you know if they require urgent veterinary treatment. Our service is free for all pet owners.