Experienced dog owners know the Fourth of July can be a stressful and difficult day for pets. But it’s not just the noise from fireworks and sparklers that can be a problem.

As Fox 10 reports, a grieving dog owner recently issued a warning about the hidden dangers in discarded sparklers and fireworks. In a Facebook post, James Copp explained that his 18-month-old puppy, Zoe, got sick after chewing up the ash from used sparklers.

After noticing that his puppy was vomiting, couldn’t walk, and was acting strangely, Copp took Zoe to the veterinarian. Though the vet realized the puppy had been poisoned, it was too late to help her:

The doctors ran test and contacted the poison control center. They told us there’s a chemical that was causing it And they tried to pump her stomach but the poison was to much and she died at 2:50 today.

Copp learned that the chemicals in the sparklers were responsible for Zoe’s death and was upset to find that there were no warnings on the packaging. He wrote:

Don’t let your animals ingest burnt or unburnt fireworks. It’s really poisonous to animals, and there are absolutely no warnings on the box about it. The vets even looked it up to see if there was [a] warning on the box. She was only a year and a half old. We will never forget you, and we miss you. R.I.P Zoe.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) says it receives more calls about sparklers than any other firework.  Most of the time, the sparklers only cause gastrointestinal issues. However, ingesting larger amounts can result in more serious symptoms.

Zoe chewed up used sparklers ash and died today. She was puking this morning and acting all odd. Couldn't walk or…

Posted by James Copp on Wednesday, June 26, 2019

In addition, some of the ingredients in fireworks can be corrosive, while other materials can cause serious symptoms. Significant exposure, or exposure to professional fireworks, can result in heavy metal toxicity.

Dr. Charlotte Means of the APCC told 11 Alive that dogs can become ill from ingesting gunpowder or fireworks, but usually recover:

“In most cases, we see vomiting and diarrhea.”

However, the severity of the reaction depends on the size of the dog as well as the amount and type of firework ingested.

Symptoms of poisoning from sparklers or fireworks include abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, shallow breathing, tremors, seizures, and jaundice. If your pet was exposed to a lit firework, it might also have irritated eyes or burns to the mouth, lips, nose, or face.

In addition to keeping sparklers and fireworks out of reach of your pets, experts advise keeping animals inside while setting off the fireworks and carefully cleaning up all residue and discarded material.

Means suggests wiping your dog’s paws down with a baby wipe if you go for a walk where fireworks have recently been used, especially in days after the Fourth of July.

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