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Toxins & Seizures

There are many toxins that can cause seizures in dogs, however, once a dog recovers from the seizures and eliminates the toxin from their body they do not have on-going seizures.  Heavy metals such as lead, zinc, mercury and aluminum are some exceptions because exposure usually occurs slowly over a long period of time or from a dog swallowing an object made of the metal. Puppies are particularly prone to toxicity from metals since they are apt to put everything in their mouth.

Although lead is no longer used in paint and other products there may be enough of the old products in your dog’s environment to be a hazard.  Lead can be found in copper water pipes, linoleum, caulking material, drapery weights, and golf balls, in addition to lead based paint.

Probably the most common toxins to cause seizures in dogs are insecticides.  Many of these kill insects by interfering with the central nervous system and they can do the same to dogs if not used properly.  Another cause of seizures in dogs is exposure to toxins from spoiled food in the garbage.

The following is a list of some of the common toxins that may cause seizures in dogs:

Animal Toxins

  • Bee and wasp venom

  • Toad Toxicity – This condition occurs in animals that bite or mouth various species of toads that contain bufotoxins.  Toxic species include the Colorado River toad and the marine toad.

  • Caffeine

  • Hydrocarbons and petroleum distillates

    • Alcohols and glycols (ethylene glycol, methanol)

    • Camphor

    • Phenols

    • Pine oils

    • Solvents (toluene, benzene, xyelne)

  • Metals

    • Lead

    • Zinc

    • Aluminum

    • Mercury

  • Mycotoxins

    • Amanita mushrooms

    • Penitrems A (moldy cheese, walnuts)

  • Pesticides

    • Boric Acid

    • Bromethalin

    • Chlorinated hydrocarbons

    • Fluroacetate

    • Metaldehyde

    • Organophosphates and carbamates

    • Pyrethrins and pyrethroids

    • Rotenone

    • Strychnine

    • Vacor

    • Zinc phosphide

  • Plant Toxins

    • Akee

    • Anticholinergics (angels’ trumpet, deadly nightshade, jimson weed, jasmine, lantana)

    • Blue-green and red algae

    • Bleeding heart and Dutchman’s breeches

    • Chinaberry

    • Moonseed

    • Tobacco

    • Water hemlock

    • Yellow Jasmine

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