Compost toxicity

Compost toxicity

The Curious Case of the Missing Compost - a true story about a precious patient and how our Animates Vetcare team saved them.

Meet Artemis, the charming chocolate Labrador who ended up with a visit to the team at Animates Vetcare Pitama Road one morning. Her worried owner called the clinic when Artemis started showing signs of incoordination, trembling and vomited multiple times.

Upon arrival at the clinic for an emergency appointment, the team noticed Artemis was still shaky and running a high temperature. Swift treatment was essential! Artemis had been investigating the compost earlier and the team suspected she had compost toxicity.

What is compost toxicity?

Compost toxicity happens when pets consume toxins produced by fungi in compost material. Symptoms can surface within a few hours and vary from mild muscle tremors to severe seizures, and in extreme cases it can even be fatal. Vomiting is often the initial sign, followed by drooling, lack of coordination, a high temperature, tremors and seizures. Artemis was showing all these signs and there was the possibility that she had eaten some compost earlier that morning.


Artemis was admitted into the hospital for immediate care, including IV fluids, sedation, and a special meal to help absorb any toxins that were in her gut. Treatment is necessary for dogs suspected to have compost toxicity. Signs can resolve in a few days, or require several weeks, so seeking prompt veterinary care and advice is important.


Despite feeling miserable, Artemis was a star patient throughout the day. Thanks to the amazing care from the team, she was able to go home overnight with some emergency medication on standby. After a seizure free night, she returned for another day of fluids and care, making sure she was back to her tail wagging self before heading home.

Prevention is key! Check your compost is securely closed and out of reach of inquisitive pets. Those tempting smells in compost can attract pets, so making sure they can’t get in is vital for their safety.

A big thanks to Artemis, her family and the dedicated team at Animates Vetcare Pitama Road for sharing this story, reminding us to stay vigilant and act promptly if our pets encounter potential dangers like compost.

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