This blog post is dedicated to Nimey, a very sweet, gentle and loving pooch who succumbed to the effects of caffeine toxicity due to lack of immediate veterinary attention to ensure his health and safety. His separation anxiety overwhelmed him, and he found and consumed tea leaves while he was home alone early one morning.
Has your pet ever gotten into something it should not have and eaten it? Some pets are good at opening cabinets and will remove items to eat sometimes in an effort to relieve anxiety. Others find the opportunity of an open garbage can and decide to rummage. Eating toxic food (or plant, chemical, etc.) is something many pet owners fear and for good reason. As humans, there are so many toxins to pets in our environment. Most of us know about chocolate toxicity. Fewer of us think about coffee and tea, which are also toxic to our pets. Pets are much more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people are. If you aren’t sure about toxicity of something your pet consumed, please call your nearest emergency clinic or your full service veterinary hospital or better yet, rush them to the veterinarian for observation at the least and tell your veterinarian what happened so they can decide the best course of action for the safety of your pet.
When rushing your pet to your vet, please give them information like what was ingested, how much and when it was ingested. Also, let them know if there are any underlying health issues your pet has been diagnosed with previously.
Caffeine can be found in the following: coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and some weight loss supplements. One or two licks of coffee or tea are not likely to cause issues in pets, however, coffee grounds or beans and tea leaves or bags can be seriously life-threatening. Upon consumption of these in any amount known or unknown, the pet should be taken right away to the nearest full-service veterinary hospital or emergency hospital. Pets can and will die with overexposure if not treated quickly enough. Dr. Bross cannot stress this enough. Pets can and will die from caffeine consumption! Don’t think it won’t happen to you or your pet. Depending on the amount ingested, clinical signs of hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, and elevated body temperature will likely occur and progress to the severity of seizures, collapse, and death. Once these clinical signs are evident, your pet’s chances of survival become questionable. Please give your pet every fighting chance possible to survive if they have been exposed to any type of toxin. This means immediate veterinary care is essential. If you cannot get your pet to the vet, please contact a friend or family for help. We highly recommend having an emergency plan in place before the need arises. Having your closest emergency clinic phone number already stored in your phone’s contact list and also knowing where the clinic is physically located ahead of time is highly advised just in general for your pet’s safety. Most people are willing to help out in times of emergency. Please do not “wait and see” how your pet does after toxin ingestion. That is the perfect recipe for the death of your beloved pet.
For further information about pet toxins, please visit https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/caffeine/ or