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Iron

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally mild to severe

Common signs to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shock
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Panting
  • Tremors
  • Organ effects

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Iron is a chemical element that is commonly found in multiple sources around the house, garden, and yard. Sources of iron include fertilizers, multivitamins (particularly prenatal vitamins), dietary mineral supplements, some types of hand warmers, and oxygen absorbers (small sachets found in food items like beef jerky, rawhide bags, etc.). When ingested in poisonous amounts, iron can be very toxic. As iron comes in several sources, the amount of elemental iron versus “total” iron must be calculated out to see if it is a poisonous ingestion or not. When in doubt, have a medical professional at Pet Poison Helpline assist you with finding out if the amount ingested was toxic or not. Iron poisoning in dogs can range in severity of signs from vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain to more severe signs of shock, tremors, and potential cardiac and liver effects.

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Poison type: Metals

Alternate names: prenatal vitamins, iron supplements, fertilizers, vitamins, multivitamins, heavy metal, oxygen absorber, hand warmers, elemental iron