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Salt

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Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs, Horses, Cows, Birds

Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe, life-threatening

Common signs to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Inappetance
  • Lethargy
  • Walking drunk
  • Abnormal fluid accumulation within the body
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Potential injury to the kidneys
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Salt, while commonly used for cooking in the kitchen, is quite poisonous to dogs and cats. The use of salt to induce vomiting in dogs and cats is no longer the standard of care and is not recommended for use by pet owners or veterinarians! Other sources of salt can be found throughout the household: in homemade play dough, rock salt (for de-icers), paint balls, table salt, sea water, enemas (containing sodium phosphate), etc.

Salt poisoning in dogs and cats results in clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, inappetance, lethargy, walking drunk, abnormal fluid accumulation within the body, excessive thirst or urination, potential injury to the kidneys, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death when untreated. Treatment for salt poisoning includes careful administration of IV fluids, electrolyte monitoring, treatment for dehydration and brain swelling, and supportive care.

If you think your dog or cat have been poisoned by salt, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment advice.

Poison type: Foods

Alternate names: hypernatremia, paintballs, paint balls, homemade play dough, sea salt, enemas, de-icers, table salt

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