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Objective—To describe the clinical signs following ingestion of an herbal supplement containing guarana and ma huang in dogs, estimate minimum dose at which clinical signs of toxicosis and death were reported, and evaluate treatment options.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—47 dogs with evidence of ingestion of an herbal supplement containing primarily guarana and ma huang.

Procedure—Records of dogs that had ingested an herbal supplement containing ma huang and guarana between July 1997 and October 1999 were retrieved from the National Animal Poison Control Center database. Data were retrieved and reviewed regarding signalment, dose ingested, clinical signs, laboratory test results, treatment, and final outcome. Cases were assessed by staff veterinarians as toxicosis or suspected toxicosis on the basis of strength of evidence supporting a diagnosis.

Results—Most dogs (80%) developed clinical signs of toxicosis within 8 hours of ingestion, and clinical signs persisted for up to 48 hours. Hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, and behavior changes were reported in 83% of dogs; other signs included vomiting (47%), tachycardia (30%), and hyperthermia (28%). Seventeen percent of the dogs died or were euthanatized. Estimated doses of guarana and ma huang ranged from 4.4 to 296.2 mg/kg (1.98 to 133.2 mg/lb) and 1.3 to 88.9 mg/kg (0.58 to 40.0 mg/ lb) of body weight, respectively; minimum dose at which death was reported was 19.1 mg of guarana/kg (8.7 mg/lb) and 5.8 mg of ma huang/kg (2.6 mg/lb).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Accidental ingestion of herbal supplements containing primarily guarana and ma huang in dogs can lead to a potentially lethal condition that may require prompt detoxification and supportive treatment for several days. Most dogs recovered with supportive treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:225–229)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To report clinical and epidemiologic information, summarize characteristic clinical signs and laboratory results, and describe the expected course of cycad toxicosis in dogs.


Retrospective study.


60 dogs with evidence of cycad ingestion.


The National Animal Poison Control Center's case record database was searched for records of dogs ingesting cycad plants from January 1987 to November 1997. Data were retrieved on clinical signs, laboratory test results, exposure history, and physical examination findings. Cases were assessed as toxicosis, suspected toxicosis, or possible toxicosis.


Records from 60 dogs were retrieved; 89.7% of the dogs were from the southern United States, 38.7% ingested seeds, 95% developed liver and gastrointestinal tract problems, and 53.3% had abnormal neurologic signs. High serum bilirubin concentration and alkaline phosphatase and alanine aminotransferase activities were the most common serum biochemical abnormalities. Although clinical signs were observed within 1 day, laboratory values did not change for 24 to 48 hours after cycad ingestion. Mortality rate was reportedly 32.1 %.

Clinical Implications

68% of dogs responded well to treatment and supportive care. Dogs ingesting seeds are likely to develop more serious problems. Clinical signs can develop within 1 to 3 days and can last for several days. A tentative diagnosis should be made on the basis of history of ingestion, clinical signs, and duration of signs. Because of the nature of these toxins, cycad ingestion is serious and should be treated aggressively. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:99-101)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the effectiveness and adverse effects of apomorphine and 3% hydrogen peroxide solution used for emesis in dogs.

Design—Prospective observational study.

Animals—147 dogs that received apomorphine (IV or placed in the conjunctival sac) or 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (PO) to induce emesis after exposure to toxic agents.

Procedures—Data regarding signalment; agent information; type, dose, route, and number of emetic administrations; whether emesis was successful; number of times emesis occurred; percentage of ingested agent recovered; and adverse effects were collected via telephone during American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Animal Poison Control Center operations and stored in a database for analysis. Mann-Whitney and Fisher exact tests were used to evaluate emetic success rates.

Results—Apomorphine and 3% hydrogen peroxide solution successfully induced emesis in 59 of 63 (94%) and 76 of 84 (90%) of dogs, respectively. Mean time to onset of emesis after the first dose of emetic was 14.5 and 18.6 minutes when hydrogen peroxide (n = 37) and apomorphine (31) were used, respectively, with mean durations of 42 and 27 minutes, respectively. Mean estimates for recovery of ingested agents were 48% for hydrogen peroxide and 52% for apomorphine. Adverse effects were reported in 16 of 112 (14%) dogs for which information was available.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—3% hydrogen peroxide solution and apomorphine effectively induced emesis in dogs when used as directed. Emesis occurred within minutes after administration and helped recover substantial amounts of ingested agents. Adverse effects of both emetics were considered mild and self-limiting.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the frequency, types, and severity of clinical signs; geographic distribution; and treatment information associated with toxicosis caused by 100% tea tree oil (TTO) in dogs and cats in the United States and Canada.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—337 dogs and 106 cats with evidence of exposure to 100% TTO.

Procedures—10-year incident data were retrieved from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center database from January 2002 to December 2012. Only evidenced or witnessed incidents assessed as toxicosis or suspected toxicosis were included. Signalment, amount of TTO used, intention of use, and outcome information were evaluated. Severity of illness and correlations with breed, sex, age, and weight were determined.

Results—TTO was intentionally used in 395 of 443 (89%) animals. The amount used ranged from 0.1 to 85 mL. Incidents were reported from 41 states, the District of Columbia, and 4 Canadian provinces. Exposure route was cutaneous in 221 (50%) animals, cutaneous and oral in 133 (30%), and oral in 67 (15%). Clinical signs developed within 2 to 12 hours and lasted up to 72 hours. The most common signs were increased salivation or drooling, signs of CNS depression or lethargy, paresis, ataxia, and tremors. A significant association with severity of illness was found for age and weight, with higher prevalence of major illness in younger and smaller cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intentional or accidental use of 100% TTO in dogs or cats caused serious signs of CNS depression, paresis, ataxia, or tremors within hours after exposure and lasting up to 3 days. Younger cats and those with lighter body weight were at greater risk of developing major illness.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine epidemiologic characteristics, clinical findings, and treatment outcome of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) toxicosis in dogs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—21 dogs with evidence of accidental 5-HTP ingestion.

Procedure—Information was retrieved from the National Animal Poison Control Center database. Records of dogs ingesting 5-HTP between January 1989 and February 1999 were reviewed for information on signalment, dose ingested, clinical signs (onset, severity, duration), treatments administered, and outcome.

Results—Clinical signs of toxicosis developed in 19 of 21 (90%) dogs. Neurologic signs included seizures (9 dogs), depression (6), tremors (5), hyperesthesia (5), and ataxia (4). Gastrointestinal tract signs included vomiting or diarrhea (12 dogs), signs of abdominal pain (3), and hypersalivation (2). Other clinical signs were hyperthermia (7 dogs) and transient blindness (3). Three dogs died. No important clinical laboratory or necropsy findings were reported. The doses of 5-HTP ingested ranged from 2.5 to 573 mg/kg (1.1 to 260 mg/lb) of body weight; the minimum toxic dose reported in our study was 23.6 mg/kg (10.7 mg/lb), and the minimum lethal dose was 128 mg/kg (58.1 mg/lb). Onset of signs ranged from 10 minutes to 4 hours after ingestion, and signs lasted up to 36 hours. Of 17 dogs with clinical signs of toxicosis that received treatment, 16 recovered; treatment consisted of decontamination, seizure control, thermoregulation, fluid therapy, and supportive care.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ingestion of 5-HTP in dogs can result in a potentially life-threatening syndrome resembling serotonin syndrome in humans, which requires prompt and aggressive care. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1937–1940)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association