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What To Do When Your Dog Eats Poison.
Have you ever been at home and suddenly found your dog in the kitchen with a whole bag of chocolate that was on the counter. The first thing that pops in your head would be something like dumb dog, but it should be what should I do. There are many household items that can poison your dog. There are a few basic options that you can utilize to help your pet.
Dogs can't eat all of the same food that we do. But as most of you already know if they can get it in their mouth they will eat it. Here is a basic list items around the house that can harm your pets: 1) chocolate (bakers especially) 2) grapes 3) gum 4) coffee beans 5) rat poison 6) raisins 7) fly bait 8) many household cleaners 9) some household plants (Lilies, etc) 10) antifreeze. The items listed above can cause many symptoms; seizures, vomiting, kidney failure, lethargy, and internal bleeding to name a few.
So back to the situation where you walk in and your dog has just eaten a poison (chocolate, rat poison, etc), what should you do. In this circumstance you have a very important decision. If your pet ate a substance that will not scratch, block, or burn its throat; you should immediately administer a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide orally. When administered orally it causes your pet to vomit, which would remove the poison. After you have administered the hydrogen peroxide, you should give your pet 15 minutes to vomit. If you pet does not vomit in 15 minutes you can repeat a dose of the peroxide. This can be done twice to help to ensure that your pet vomits, however it usually only takes one dose. This will only work if your animal has eaten it recently (within 30 - 45 minutes or sooner is a good rule of thumb). However it is also important to remember that this does not replace speaking to your veterinarian to ensure that your animal receives the proper treatment.
Your veterinarian should always be involved in decisions about your pet's health. They are the closest person with knowledge of your pet, that has the background to choose a proper course of treatment. In the incident of poisoning/intoxication your veterinarian should be notified immediately. Your veterinarian has a few options depending on the toxin. Intravenous fluids are a mainstay of most treatments, to flush out any of the substance that was already introduced into the bloodstream. Another item that they use is activated charcoal, administered orally this will absorb some of the toxin that is still in the stomach. There are also more specific treatments depending on what toxin your pet has ingested.
It is also important to remember that poisons are dose dependent; meaning that one small bit of a household item (an M&M or grape), will not necessarily hurt your pet. If you are not sure how much of a toxin/poison your animal ate, I would recommend utilizing the hydrogen peroxide to be safe. Dose dependent also means that if you have a Saint Bernard he can eat more of a poison than a Tea Cup Poodle. You can also utilize some of your resources to dilute out the toxin. Your veterinarian used intravenous fluids, but you can utilize the world's most important resource (water). In other words if your animal does vomit up the poison, give it time to allow the stomach to settle(an hour or so) and then offer plenty of water.
We all love our pets and they quickly become a part of our family, but they are just like children in many ways. We must pet - proof our homes, much like many people try to child - proof their homes. All of our food and snacks, household cleaners, and plants that can be harmful should be kept in an area secure from the pets. Even if the substance in question is not supposed to be toxic, many things can cause stomach upset and even pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can become serious and it is a necessity to visit your veterinarian for therapy. Continued vomiting and lethargy are the most consistent signs of pancreatitis in your pet. Just keep in mind the few tips I brought forward and never hesitate to call your veterinarian. This wil help keep your pet healthy and happy for many years to come.