Homemade Slime: Toxicity and Health Risks for Pets

Untitled Copy 5.jpg

There has been a rise in a love of crafting homemade slime in households. While not a threat to creativity, some ingredients in slime pose a threat to our beloved pets.

 

Table Salt

This is often the most concerning ingredient in many slime recipes. Pets can develop salt toxicity or hypernatremia. Depending on the amount of salt ingested symptoms can range from GI upset to Central Nervous System signs such as lethargy, tremors, seizures, coma, and death. Signs of toxicity can be seen at 2 g/kg , or 0.13 tablespoons/kg of body weight. To put this into perspective, a 10lb dog (4.54 kg) could began to show signs of toxicity after ingesting just over 0.5 tablespoons of table salt. For that same 10 lb dog a fatal dose is possible at 1.5 tablespoons of salt ingested. Some slime recipes do not contain a particular amount of salt but just instructions to continue adding salt until the desired consistency/texture is achieved. This can make it difficult to gauge the amount of salt in the finished product. Some homemade slimes contain epsom salt instead of table salt. It would generally take more epsom salt than table salt to cause toxicity but this is still an ingredient that should not be ingested in large amounts as significant GI signs can result.

 

School glue

This is a common ingredient that does not usually hold significant potential for toxicity. When ingested GI irritation (vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia) is possible.

 

Shaving cream, hand soap, dish soap, shampoo and most hand lotions

These ingredients cause not much more than GI irritation but variations in ingredients are possible that may increase the risk for toxicity. For example, there are shampoos and lotions that contain cocoa bean (Theobroma Cacao) extract which is an ingredient of concern for chocolate toxicity.

 

Boric Acid

Generally, in acute (one time) doses, this is a GI irritant that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or anorexia.

 

Saline Contact Lens Solution

While some contact lens solutions are just saline, in addition to the salt concern, many (usually the ones used to make slime) contain Boric Acid or Borate which is a GI irritant.

 

Laundry detergent

Laundry detergent, when ingested, can be a GI irritant or for some products even cause corrosive injury to the oral cavity and GI tract. Mixed into a product like a slime it would be diluted and less likely to cause corrosive injury but if not well mixed and if an area of concentrated laundry detergent came into contact with the GI tract there would still be potential for injury.

 

Toothpaste

Many kinds of toothpaste contain xylitol which can pose significant toxicity risk for dogs.  Depending on the dose ingested, xylitol can cause profound hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and in higher doses liver failure. Both of these levels of toxicity can be life-threatening for your dog.

 

Liquid Starch

Most liquid starches contain ingredients that would be expected to cause GI irritation at most when ingested in a slime mixture.

 


There are other concerns in addition to toxicity when our pets ingest slime. Large amounts of slime could pose a risk for a foreign body obstruction or blockage in the GI tract.

When slime contains decorative additives such as sequins, tinsel, or glitter, injury to the GI tract is also possible. Tinsel is of particular concern as if long enough strands (more than a couple of inches long) are ingested, linear foreign body (a condition where string type materials can cause injury to the GI tract by bunching it up and causing blockage or necrotic damage)is possible.

Another concern is that slime is by nature slimy, and viscous. If your pet vomits this material back up there is a risk for aspiration of the product into the lungs which can quickly become a life threatening situation.


How do we prevent our pets from ingesting homemade slime?

  1. When the slime is not in use keep it somewhere that is not accessible to your pet.

  2. Keep your pets out of areas where slime is in use.

  3. Teach your children not to walk away from their slime project without putting it somewhere that is inaccessible to pets.

  4. Store the slime making ingredients out of reach of your pets at all times.

  5. Slime ingestion is also harmful for wildlife. Please dispose of your used slime responsibly.

 

What should you do if your pet ingests slime?

  1. Do not attempt to induce vomiting at home or treat your pet in any other way without advice from your veterinarian or an animal poison control center. Some at home treatments can do more harm than good.

  2. Call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline.


Hear From Us Again

Don't forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for more recipes, articles, and clinic updates delivered to your inbox (here). Or, you can keep up to date by liking and following our Facebook page (here). We also have additional helpful articles under our tips category (here).

People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

avocado-me-cray.jpg

This week is National Poison Prevention week and we are bringing you a list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. If you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or poison control.

 

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol. If you suspect that your pet has ingested alcohol, contact your veterinarian or Poison Control immediately.

 

Avocado

Avocado is primarily a problem for birds, rabbits, donkeys, horses, and ruminants including sheep and goats. The biggest concern is for cardiovascular damage and death in birds.  Horses, donkeys and ruminants frequently get swollen, edematous head and neck.

 

Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine

These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee, and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.

 

Citrus

The stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can cause irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. Small doses, such as eating the fruit, are not likely to present problems beyond minor stomach upset.

 

Coconut and Coconut Oil

When ingested in small amounts, coconut and coconut-based products are not likely to cause serious harm to your pet. The flesh and milk of fresh coconuts do contain oils that may cause stomach upset, loose stools or diarrhea. Because of this, we encourage you to use caution when offering your pets these foods. Coconut water is high in potassium and should not be given to your pet.

 

Grapes and Raisins

Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. Until more information is known about the toxic substance, it is best to avoid feeding grapes and raisins to dogs.

 

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

 

Milk and Dairy

Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other dairy-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

 

Nuts

Nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats. The fats can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis in pets.

 

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies.

 

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones

Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets and humans. Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.

 

Salt and Salty Snack Foods

Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. As such, we encourage you to avoid feeding salt-heavy snacks like potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn to your pets. 

 

Xylitol

Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods, peanut butter, and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

 

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach to bloat, and potentially twist, becoming a life threatening emergency. The yeast produce ethanol as a by-product and a dog ingesting raw bread dough can become drunk (See alcohol).


Poison Prevention Tips

  • Be prepared for an emergency. Keep the national, free Poison Helpline number at your fingertips by saving the number in your mobile phone: 1-800-222-1222

  • Practice safe storage habits. Always store medicines and hazardous substances up, away, and out of sight of children. Keep these substances in their original, child resistant containers.

  • Read and follow all labels and directions. Review medicine and product labels before you use them, especially before giving medicine to children.

  • Detect invisible threats. Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home


Hear From Us Again

Don't forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for more recipes, articles, and clinic updates delivered to your inbox (here). Or, you can keep up to date by liking and following our Facebook page (here). We also have additional helpful articles under our tips category (here).

Save on your next flea + tick prevention with Simparica!

simparica-blog-th.jpg

New In Stock Alert! We are now carrying a new flea and tick protection option proven to last. Read to the ending for tips on how you will save when you switch to Simparica at River Landings Animal Clinic.

What is Simparica?

Simparica® (sarolaner) Chewables are a safe, monthly flea and tick protection for dogs that start working fast and remain effective all month long.

Simparica starts killing fleas within 3 hours and ticks within 8 hours, and it keeps going strong for 35 days without losing effectiveness at the end of the month.

 

How does Simparica work?

Simparica is a great tasting chewable tablet given orally once a month. It travels in your dog's blood to safely deliver persistent continuous protection against fleas and ticks from day 1 to day 35*.

*Studies show that Simparica starts killing ticks in 8 hours and is ≥96.9% effective for 35 days against weekly reinfestations of Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star tick), Amblyomma maculatum (Gulf Coast tick), Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick), and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (brown dog tick).

 

Why protect against fleas and ticks?

Tick-borne diseases represent a widespread and growing public health hazard to dogs (and their human companions), causing debilitating illness and even death. It only takes one tick to spread disease, so continuous protection is critical to help reduce the risk of infection.


Likewise, it only takes a single "pregnant" flea to start an infestation on a dog or in a home. And although fleas are largely perceived as a mere nuisance, they too can pose health risks to pets and humans.

 

Why switch to Simparica?

Simparica provides peak protection all month long with no decrease in effectiveness toward the end of the month like some other brands. Comparison charts provided by Simparica on their website.

 

Save on Simparica!

Purchase 12 doses of Simparica and receive $35 in money-back savings. Purchase 6 doses and get $15 savings. Simply download a special offer voucher and bring it with you to the veterinarian when you purchase Simparica. Then log on to Simparica's website (here) to request your rebate. Your check will be mailed directly to you. It's that simple!

main-dog.jpg

Hear From Us Again

Don't forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for more recipes, articles, and clinic updates delivered to your inbox (here). Or, you can keep up to date by liking and following our Facebook page (here). We also have additional helpful articles under our tips category (here).

New Year's Eve Survival Guide for Pets & Pet Owners

NYE-survival-guide-blog-thumbnail_color.jpg

Up-to-date ID

Parties mean doors getting opened a lot. Even if you have thoughtfully hung a sign on your bedroom door saying ‘Do Not Open’, or if you have your pets safely contained in a crate inside the bedroom, accidents happen. Make sure your pet ID tags and microchip information has your current address and phone numbers.

 

Confining your pet

Many pets have a favorite hiding place they go to when frightened. For some pets, a crate can lend a feeling of safety, security, and act as a sort of sanctuary. However, for some pets that did not grow up using a crate, it may only cause more stress and lead to injuries of their nails or teeth trying to get out. If crating is not an option, place your pet in a room they cannot hurt themselves or damage any belongings.

 

Exercise

For dogs and even cats, giving them plenty of exercise on New Years Eve day will help them achieve a more restful sleep that night. A good long walk or hike with your pup will help burn off any day-of anxiety for both you and your dog.

 

No human food

Make sure everyone is on the same page that the dog is not allowed table scraps. The #1 reason pet owners end up at the emergency vet on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day is due to a sick pet from too much people food, good or bad. Even supposed ‘safe’ foods you think of can lead to pancreatitis, which can be fatal.

 

White noise

Fireworks and loud music can disturb and upset even the calmest of pets. Put on white noise or classical music at a volume that will cover up outside noise. For sound-sensitive animals, many pets find relief in using a Thundershirt pet wrap (available at most pet stores).

 

Distract with toys or games

Food puzzles and new toys to play with during the time there will be a lot of noise or festivities will keep an active and distracted mind. For cat owners, try spritzing catnip spray on the new toy. For dog owners, stuff a puzzle toy with peanut butter to keep their attention focus (we highly suggest peanut butter filled Kongs).

 

Don’t reward anxious behavior

It is ok to hug them, but do not reward any anxious behavior by fussing over them. Staying happy and in control lets them know everything is ok.

 

Talk to your veterinarian

If your doctor is already familiar with your pet’s issue, speak with your vet to consider anti-anxiety medication for your pet. Other options are diffusers (Adaptil for dogs, Feliway for cats) which release natural pheromones that help keep pets calm during times of stress.


Hear From Us Again

Don't forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for more recipes, articles, and clinic updates delivered to your inbox (here). Or, you can keep up to date by liking and following our Facebook page (here). We also have additional helpful articles under our tips category (here).

December Gift Guide

Last minute gift shopping got you stressed? Shop stress-free at River Landings Animal Clinic. These following products are both pet and vet approved for any pet and pet owner!

giftguide2017.png

Hear From Us Again

Don't forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for more recipes, articles, and clinic updates delivered to your inbox (here). Or, you can keep up to date by liking and following our Facebook page (here). We also have additional helpful articles under our tips category (here).