Insect repellents, flypaper





Paints and thinners:

  • Synthetic paints may contain solvents such as acetone, toluene, xylene, synthetic thinner, mineral oils, etc.
  • These usually inhibit the activity of the nerve tissue, which can lead to unconsciousness. They are usually toxic to the liver.
  • When giving first aid do not induce vomiting; if the solvent gets into the lungs infection will occur. Giving the animal activated charcoal is ineffective; these substances do not react. Absolutely do not give the animal any kind of fat, and do not give milk to the affected animal. 

Road salt and ice remover:

  • These are substances of medium toxicity. All can cause irritation to the digestive tract and mucous membranes, and lead to vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Road salt commonly contains sodium chloride or chlorinated salts. Some can also contain urea, or calcium, potassium, or magnesium salts. These substances are dangerous because they lead to disruption of the ion balance in the organism, as well as to oedema, and later to neurological symptoms and in exceptional cases to death of the animal. First aid must begin with inducing vomiting, provided the animal is conscious and has no neurological symptoms. Afterward the animal may be given water, but GRADUALLY in SMALL DOSES – a few gulps every hour.
  • Ice removers are products that often contain alcohols or ethylene glycol, which are substances that affect the consciousness, and ethylene glycol causes severe kidney damage as well. For alcohol, first aid consists of giving the animal water for dilution; with ethylene glycol first aid consists in giving the animal alcohol – pure distillate (vodka, plum brandy ...), 10-50 ml depending on the size of the animal. Caution, do not give it too much, otherwise the brain will become so clouded that the animal may lose consciousness. Animals that refuse the alcohol even when sprayed in their mouths via syringe can be given 50-300 ml of beer depending on weight of animal.

Swimming pool chemicals:

  • There is a wide range of these preparations with varying effects:
  • Anti-algae chemicals are often absorbents, which have no toxic effects, but may be local irritants. However, many others are based on herbicides, which are highly toxic substances. Most commonly these are triazine herbicides, which are mainly irritants and damage the mucous membranes and skin. In larger quantities they can also cause stomach pains, trembling, cramps, and poor blood circulation. Recommended first aid consists of giving the animal water to dilute the poison, and activated charcoal can be tried as well.
  • Chemicals for removing ammonia from water, maintaining the pH balance, and for chlorination and disinfection, etc. are often mixtures for which it is hard to obtain precise composition to define its harmful effects, but generally they consist of salt, acids, and bases. Most of these substances will locally irritate the skin and mucous membranes; in larger doses they can cause lesions; if ingested they can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. First aid consists of giving the animal water to dilute the chemicals.


  • Most commonly these are chemicals based on minerals and ions. These substances are usually dangerous only in large quantities.
  • Ingestion can lead to irritation of the digestive tract, vomiting, and diarrhoea. The ion balance in the organism may also be disrupted. This can cause swelling, affect coronary activity, and damage the balance in the brain, leading to cramps; and nitrites inhibit oxygen transportation, which can lead to asphyxiation.
  • As first aid we give the animal crushed activated charcoal.

Starter fluids for grilling; matches:

  • Matches may contain compounds of antimony, potassium chlorate, and sulphur. The striking surface contains red phosphorus.
  • Chlorate and phosphorus are poisonous, producing vomiting, diarrhoea, later convulsions and death.
  • Chlorate also causes damage to the blood pigment haemoglobin and inhibits the transfer of oxygen in the blood. Thus symptoms of asphyxiation may also appear.
  • First aid consists of giving the animal activated charcoal.
  • Starter fluids for grilling most often contain paraffin or other oil products, and also ethanol. Paraffin and oil products are classified as organic solvents. These substances commonly inhibit the activity of nerve tissue, and can lead to unconsciousness. In giving first aid do not cause vomiting; if the solvent gets into the lungs infection will occur. Giving the animal activated charcoal is ineffective; these substances do not react together. Absolutely do not give the animal any kind of fats, and do not give the animal milk. Ethanol causes problems by affecting nerve activity, which can lead to unconsciousness. For first aid, give the animal water (to dilute the chemical).

Snakebite (viper):

  • The viper is the only poisonous snake freely living in the wild in the CR.
  • For people (except for older people or children, or those in poor health or allergic) poisoning is usually accompanied by mild symptoms. For animals it depends on the species, size of animal, and location of the bite. Generally the risk is greater with smaller animals, or when the bite is closer to the large blood vessels, by which the poison is spread quickly throughout the organism, or if the animal is bitten in the area of the head and neck, with the danger of swelling and asphyxiation.
  • Just to be sure, when an animal is bitten by a viper, immediately take the animal to a veterinarian. If there is an allergic reaction to the bite, the animal could die within a few minutes to a half an hour, which the veterinarian can usually prevent by giving the proper medicines.
  • First aid consists of a number of steps: 1) calm the animal and make sure it does not undertake physical activity. If possible, carry the animal to the veterinarian. Otherwise arrange for transportation to the veterinarian by automobile. 2) if the animal has been bitten in the limb and the right material is at hand, make a splint as you would for a broken limb, and immobilize the limb. 3) do not use a tourniquet and do not cut into the wound and do not try to suck the poison out. This is because of the danger that the rescuer himself will become contaminated, as well as the possibility of infection of the open wounds. 4) if a first aid kit is handy, disinfect the wound. 5) the wound can be chilled for a longer period, but do not apply ice directly to the skin to avoid frostbite.

Poisonous plants:

  • It is important to quickly determine which plant the animal has ingested.
  • Seek the advice of an expert – it is good to have reliable contacts with someone who knows plants. If you have no such contacts, call your veterinarian, the department of toxicology at the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences or the Toxicology Information Centre, which will advise you whom to turn to, or in simpler cases to identify the plant themselves.
  • If the condition of the animal is serious, or you even suspect that the ingested plant is poisonous, and seek the help of a veterinarian, take with you a sample of the plant (with flowers or fruit if possible, which will help identify the plant more easily).
  • As first aid, give the animal several tablets of activated charcoal (crushed and mixed with water or into yogurt, for example); make sure the animal has plenty to drink, and do not stress it with unnecessary movement. If the plant-borne substances cause painful swelling in the oral cavity, ice can be given for the animal to lick.
  • As with all poisoning, the most important thing is prevention, which consists of the following points: 1) when buying any houseplant, find out whether it is poisonous (and because the personnel sometimes are not sufficiently informed, it is better before purchasing to find out the name of the plant and find out about its toxicity in the literature or on the internet. 2) in a household where animals live it is best to avoid keeping any poisonous plants at all (especially if you have cats, that can jump very high). 3) with other kinds of animals, do not place houseplants within reach of the animals. 4) always cultivate a sufficient amount of ordinary grass, sprouted grain, or sedge grass for flat dogs and cats; this will cut down on the chance they will go after other types of plant.


  • As with plants, quick identification is very important.
  • If you are not knowledgeable about mushrooms, ask for expert advice. If you do not have contact with an expert, call your veterinarian, the university veterinary faculty, or the Toxicology Information Centre, where they will advise you who to contact.
  • Before you go to the veterinarian or mycologist (mushroom expert) never forget to take with you the rest of the mushroom or the animal’s vomit, which could aid in identification.
  • Mushrooms have various types of effects. Some merely cause vomiting and diarrhoea; others can produce temporary hallucinations and neurological symptoms. Still others can lead to failure of the liver or kidneys, endangering the life of the animal. Cases of mushroom poisoning caught this late often end in death.
  • If the animal is conscious, then as part of first aid it is good to try and get the animal to swallow a few tablets of activated charcoal (crushed and mixed into water or yogurt for example), and give the animal plenty of water.
  • Among domestic animals, the most frequently poisoned by mushrooms are dogs. If you know that your dog has a tendency to eat or lick mushrooms, then put a muzzle on it before entering the woods; remove all mushrooms that appear in your garden.