Winter toxins to watch out for


Renee Schmid, DVM, DACVT, returns to the Vet Blast Podcast to help prepare veterinary teams and pet owners who run into these winter toxins

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As we continue through the winter months, veterinary teams and pet parents must be aware of the dangers pets face with common household winter items such as hand warmers and rock salt. On this episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, Renee Schmid, DVM, DABT, DABVT, senior toxicologist at the Pet Poison Helpline, shared what winter toxins veterinary professionals need to know and warn clients about, plus where to find help with poison cases.

Below is a partial transcript. Listen to the full podcast for more.

Renee Schmid, DVM, DABT, DABVT: This is definitely handwarmer season, that's for sure and hand warmers generally contain iron or some type of iron powder and the iron that's in there, it's a large amount. Again, dogs and cats don't have a large room for adjusting that as far as safety goes and we can see iron poisoning developing. They typically will have some pretty significant, what we call GI distress. So significant vomiting, diarrhea, they're painful in their abdomen, there may be blood present there as well and then they can have liver failure and organ damage as well. So it can definitely be fatal to these guys. If the handwarmer has been used and it's already been cooled, then that iron becomes what's called oxidized and generally not as big of a concern for poisoning. If it's an unused warmer, those are the ones where we get really concerned with as far as just a really heightened level of poisoning concerns there.

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