Today, our Raritan, Somerset County vets review the signs and symptoms of poisoning in dogs, how to know if your dog has been poisoned and what you should do if you believe if this has occurred.
What should I do if my dog has been poisoned?
Stay calm and ensure the source of the poison is out of your dog’s reach. Then bring your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
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Any dog parent knows that some pooches are endlessly trusting and curious animals - and that sometimes this can get them into trouble. Depending on your dog’s size, even a small amount of poisonous substance can result in them becoming quickly and severely ill.
How can I tell if my dog has been poisoned?
Most cases of dog poisoning are not intentional; they are most commonly accidents resulting from family pets getting into things they shouldn’t. As you might imagine, this can cause panic and distress in their owners.
In other (more rare) cases, dogs have been exposed to toxic substances, or even just eaten treats that aren’t designed for their canine metabolisms.
Dogs that have been poisoned can display a range of symptoms or conditions.
Signs & Symptoms of Poisoning in Dogs
The following symptoms may indicate that your dog has been poisoned:
- Excessive bleeding or bruising
- Unsteady on feet
- Abnormal heart beat
- Oral irritation
- Pale gums
- Heart problems
- Inability to urinate
- Kidney failure
Keep in mind that signs of dog poisoning can vary widely depending on which type of poison they’ve encountered. These signs can range from vomiting to drooling and breathing difficulties.
For example, if they’ve inhaled a toxic substance, they may have difficulty breathing or even lose consciousness. Poisons that touch their skin may cause pain, discomfort or irritation, while swallowed poisons can result in heart issues, diarrhea, agitation and sickness.
Symptoms of poisoning may take a number of days to appear, and can even take months in some cases.
Long-Term Symptoms of Dog Poisoning
If you know that your dog has consumed a poisonous substance, it’s essential to have him or her treated immediately. Even if your dog doesn’t display symptoms right away, this does not mean they are safe from the potentially fatal consequences.
Long-term symptoms of your dog coming into contact with poisonous substances include kidney failure, liver damage, irregular heart beat, neurological symptoms including seizures and blood loss.
Common Household Items Toxic to Dogs
While your home and garden is an oasis for your family, they may be full of potentially poisonous or toxic items that can make your dog severely ill. That’s why it’s important to know where your dog is and what he’s up to at all times.
You’ll also want to keep substances that can be harmful to them out of your dog’s reach. Here are some common household substances that are poisonous to dogs:
- Laundry detergent
- Spring bulbs
- Drain cleaners
- Furniture polish
- Oven cleaner
- Yew trees
- Xylitol (low-calorie sweetener)
- Snail, rodent or slug poisons
- Antidepressants and other human medications
When should I seek professional veterinary medical attention?
Getting your dog to a vet quickly is essential to a positive outcome. Call your Somerset emergency vet immediately. At AnimERge, we are here late nights, weekends, and holidays, or any time that you are unable to reach your primary care veterinarian, our emergency veterinarians are here to help.
After ensuring the poisonous substance is safely out of your dog’s reach, do not try to administer first aid, as different poisonous substances require different actions. While some cases may require induced vomiting, in other cases inducing vomiting could cause more damage.
Get your dog to the vet as quickly as possible and allow your vet to provide appropriate treatment. The more you can tell your vet the better, so if you know which substance has poisoned your dog, bring a sample or any packaging of the poison to your vet’s office.
This information will help your vet fully understand the situation, and how best to treat your dog.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.