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Rhubarb

Severity scale:
Caution
This toxin is considered to be a moderate risk. However, your pet's medical history, age, weight, and breed could put him/her at higher risk. It is advised that you contact whiskerDocs or your primary veterinarian for further guidance about any steps you may need to take to ensure your pet's safety. If you choose to, you may monitor your pet closely, but the onset or worsening of any of the below symptoms warrants a trip to the emergency room.

Rhubarb is a delicious vegetable that lends itself well to creating sweet but tart jams and pies, but can pose serious risks to our pets. While the stems of the rhubarb (the parts used to make rhubarb pie for example) are not toxic, the leaves are extremely dangerous. The toxins found in the leaves are of the oxalate family. This toxin is absorbed through the stomach and intestines and bind with calcium in the body. This leads to a sudden drop in blood calcium and can cause muscular, brain and kidney issues (such as kidney stones). Irritation in the stomach and intestines is often noted as well.  Clinical signs to watch out for include severe diarrhea and vomiting (often containing blood), drooling, difficulty walking, bloody urine, and/or a decrease or lack of urine production. While only the leaves are known to cause toxic issues, any ingestion should be reported to your veterinarian or discussed with the whiskerDocs team.

Toxic to: 
Dogs and Cats
Part of food: 
Leaves (high risk); stems/the edible part of the plant are more likely to cause very mild (if any) gastrointestinal symptoms
Symptoms: 
Signs are due to hypocalcemia - drooling, inappetance, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, tremors, bloody urine, changes in thirst and urination, kidney failure.
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