7 Dangers Lurking in Your Yard and Garage

7 Dangers Lurking in Your Yard and Garage


As fall is on its way, you may be getting ready to treat your yard and store products in your garage. Curious animals can get themselves into poisons that are found in these areas. Here are 7 of the most common products to keep away from your pets.

Everyone wants to have a nice, lush lawn and garden. The ingredients in fertilizer, including phosphorus, nitrogen, pesticides, potash, and iron can poison your dog or cat if they go sniffing around the area, or lick it off its paws. If you use a fertilizer product, be sure to keep your pet away from the area for the allotted time as recommended by the manufacturer. Upon exposure, your pet may have ulcerations or redness of the skin or mouth, red eyes, diarrhea, vomiting, and seizures.

Also known as rat poison, rodenticides contain warfarin and coumarin, which interferes with the ability of blood to clot. It causes excessive internal bleeding, seizures, and asphyxiation, which are life threatening. Your pet can be poisoned by eating the bait or the rodent that died from ingesting the bait. It takes 3 to 7 days for the problem to become evident. However, early signs include vomiting, lethargy, pale gums, and a decreased appetite. Be sure to put rodenticides where your pet can’t get it because there are some rodenticides that have no antidote. You may even want to consider using traps that don’t contain poison.

Insecticides and Pesticides
These toxins kill pests in your home, around your home, and in your yard. When they are made with food to attract the insect, it will also attract your pet. If you use an indoor fogger, be sure your animals and their toys, beds, food, and water aren’t inside. When using an insecticide or pesticide around the house or in the yard, keep your pet away from the area until the product is completely dry. Also be sure to keep your pet from eating any grass or plant that has been treated since the toxins will remain on the treated surface. If your pet has been exposed, you may notice vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, and rapid breathing.

Most antifreeze has ethylene glycol in it. Some contain propylene glycol, which is less toxic, but still dangerous. If your vehicle is leaking antifreeze, or if you leave the container out in the open, just a few licks of the substance may be lethal. Dogs and cats are attracted to the sweet taste, and it only takes 1 to 2 days for an animal’s kidneys to fail. Luckily, some manufacturers are adding an additional compound to create bitterness and reduce the attraction. Symptoms of ingestion include lethargy, hypothermia, vomiting, wobbly movement, diarrhea, seizures, and fainting.

Windshield WIper Fluid
This fluid is made up of 25-30% methanol so it doesn’t freeze. When ingested, methanol will metabolize as alcohol, and result in alcohol poisoning. It can also be absorbed through your pet’s skin, so topical exposure will cause the same problem as consumption. Symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, and coloring of the lips or fur, will show within 30 to 60 minutes, Your wiper fluid may also contain ethylene glycol, which is found in antifreeze.

Paints and Solvents
This category includes oil-based (but not latex) paint, varnish, paint thinners, and mineral spirits that may be in open containers or on rags. If inhaled or ingested, or if contact is made with your pet’s skin, it can result in difficulty breathing, lung infection, and chemical burns. Your pet may be nauseous and vomit. In addition, vomiting may increase the chance of the chemicals getting into the lungs and causing inflammation.

Expanding glues used in construction, if ingested, can create a blockage. The hard mass will obstruct your pet’s esophagus or gastrointestinal tract. In fact, it expands to 4 to 8 times the size of the original volume, so 1 ounce turns into 4 to 8 ounces within 15 minutes. Your pet won’t be able to eat or drink fluids, will have difficulty breathing, and become restless. The mass will likely need to be removed surgically.

If you suspect your pet has been in contact with any of these items, call Dr. Newman immediately at 208-233-2844.

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