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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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WARNING: pets and compost Toplef10WARNING: pets and compost 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

WARNING: pets and compost I22gcj10WARNING: pets and compost 14dhcg10

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WARNING: pets and compost

+5
Judy McConnell
quiltbea
donnainzone5
audrey.jeanne.roberts
GWN
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Post  GWN 3/29/2014, 10:45 am

I have had a compost for about 30 years and dogs for that long as well. They tend to occasionally get little tidbits before they break down completely    This last winter I have kept a large compost pile in my hoop house, and it has been great, it has allowed me to do some composting over winter, and it has broken down somewhat.
I did start adding coffee from the local coffee shop and was thrilled by how it heated up the compost.
Yesterday I decided to take the compost outside as I need the hoop house now, so got a new supply of coffee and did a major compost mix.
My dog as usually found some tidbits, and so I covered the pile with a tarp to keep him out until stuff was more broken down.
A few hours later he started acting VERY weird, almost drugged.  He was very twitchy, his vision seemed off, he was uncoordinated and I was afraid he might have a seizure. He vomited, had diarrhea, and was clearly very afraid of all of this.  Took me awhile to diagnose that he had caffeine poisoning.  He did not actually eat any coffee, but there were grinds mixed in.    So I looked up caffeine poisoning and he had all the signs.  I am kind of remote and my husband was away with our only car, so I looked up treatments and fortunately I had some medications left over from my cancer treatments that stopped the twitching etc....
He is a big dog (80 lbs)   but I read that this often kills small dogs and cats.   So I thought I would warn others.   He is totally fine today.
GWN
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 3/29/2014, 11:12 am

Oh my! I didn't know that. My dog will grab some of the "horse apples" that fall from the compost pile and take them all over the yard, but some of the espresso shots from Starbuck's grounds are about the same size and do the same thing if they haven't been broken up.

I'm so glad your dog is okay this morning and that you shared this, thanks,
Audrey
audrey.jeanne.roberts
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Post  GWN 3/29/2014, 11:18 am

Audrey, 
My dog eats just about anything.. We walk in the forest every day and he eats all the wild animal poop.... DOGS ARE SOOOOO GROSS 
Nothing seems to hurt him.
I just thought other might find this interesting
GWN
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Post  donnainzone5 3/29/2014, 11:55 am

Is everyone aware that cocoa mulch also is toxic to dogs and cats?
donnainzone5
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Post  quiltbea 3/29/2014, 1:00 pm

GWN....I'm so glad to hear your dog is OK today.  Thanks for the info on coffee grounds and dogs.
quiltbea
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Post  Judy McConnell 3/29/2014, 1:15 pm

Ooo - thanks for the head's up - while we don't have a dog, neighbors do and they have been known to enter my yard.
Judy McConnell
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Post  GWN 3/29/2014, 2:00 pm

the funny thing about it.... if there were to be a funny thing..  I thought that the offender was that he ate a loaf of homemade organic bread that was complete mould... the entire loaf was mold from sitting in the compost all winter.

So I was searching the internet about that, then I posted on Facebook to see if anyone else knew something about mould. I was describing his  behaviour and said it was like he had just drank a gallon of coffee and it was like... affraid   OMG....
then I remembered all the coffee grounds
GWN
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Post  sanderson 3/29/2014, 3:02 pm

This isn't about compost or dogs, but our cat had a horrible bout of vomiting Thursday night.  Lots of areas on the carpet.  After the first 3 episodes, I gave up cleaning and told my husband to watch his step in the morning!    Very Happy She was in abdominal pain so off to the vet's in the morning.  She loves corn stalks and leaves, bean leaves, my new zinnias, and borage.  At first I was concerned with poisoning from the new flower seedlings I'm raising this year: sweat peas, sun flowers, Kiss-me-over-the garden-gate, and morning glories.  No signs of toxic poisoning except some rapid breathing and a fever.  But, as gardeners with pets, we always have to be vigilant about possibilities, as weird as they may seem.  After $500- of lab tests and x-rays, I still don't know what caused that horrible intestinal distress.

On the plus side, we are definitely going to get new carpet after 19 years.  And she is almost back to her normal playful behavior.
sanderson
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Post  plantoid 3/29/2014, 4:30 pm

Spring is a time when lots of plants start to emerge  , cat and dogs often get self inflicted poisoning when they go and chew the new growth forgetting over the winter that certain plants upset them .
 

Our 70 pound pooch has also just cost us £ 600 ( 900$  usd  ) .
Whatever he'd scoffed had stripped his gut & intestine raw , he was passing faecal blood for six days ,. the vet's  were puzzled  .
Stool sample tests came back on Thursday afternoon that he's been eating the spring new growth fronds & flower heads of the common Horsetail .

 He's much better today .. we are now only taking him out in the garden if he is on a short leash  as some of the remaining mother earth soil is full of the horsetail flower heads .
plantoid
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Post  Marc Iverson 3/29/2014, 5:38 pm

Ours have been gaily trampling through the huge new crop of poison oak we've got and bringing its residue back to the house. I must be very lucky, because I never seem to get bothered by it and am around it all the time. Still, never say never.
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Post  donnainzone5 3/29/2014, 6:04 pm

Marc,

Argh!  During college, I once went out with a guy who'd been working in the forest all day and had not showered or changed clothing.  We went to a drive-in.

Some hugging and kissing went on (nothing more).  I ended up with the WORST case of poison oak/ivy.  It crusted to about 1/2", and I had a scar for quite some time.  

Beware!
donnainzone5
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Post  Marc Iverson 3/29/2014, 6:59 pm

Holy cow! And not just at the thought of a guy working outdoors all day and not showering before a date, LOL!
Marc Iverson
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Post  sanderson 3/29/2014, 7:33 pm

Ah, love and youth
sanderson
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Post  Goosegirl 3/30/2014, 5:15 am

@plantoid wrote:Our 70 pound pooch has also just cost us £ 600 ( 900$  usd  ) .
Whatever he'd scoffed had stripped his gut & intestine raw , he was passing faecal blood for six days ,. the vet's  were puzzled  .
Stool sample tests came back on Thursday afternoon that he's been eating the spring new growth fronds & flower heads of the common Horsetail .

 He's much better today .. we are now only taking him out in the garden if he is on a short leash  as some of the remaining mother earth soil is full of the horsetail flower heads .

Yikes! Horsetail is the camper's/hiker's pot scrubber!

GG
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