Pet Poisoning: How to Know if Your Pet Ate Something Toxic
It’s sometimes fun to play guessing games. Whether it’s guessing someone’s age or what a distant relative would like for their birthday, it’s often entertaining to figure out life’s little mysteries.
However, one thing you don’t want to wonder about is whether your pet ate something harmful. Warning signs can range from subtle to scary, but one thing is certain: knowing what to look for in a pet poisoning is one way to save your pet’s life.
If you keep your pet on a routine, you know exactly when they’re hungry and what behaviors go along with that. Knowing your pet’s personality, patterns, and habits can help clue you in to a possible pet poisoning. Watch your pet closely, take notes regarding frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms, and seek urgent care immediately.
We recommend our clients contact us first. We may then direct you to the Northeast Indiana Veterinary Emergency Specialty Hospital.
Prepare and Act
In a pet poisoning, every minute counts. Because major organs are at risk of damage, you need to move quickly in seeking emergency veterinary care. The effects of a pet poisoning can be slowed or stopped, but only if the animal is brought in promptly.
- Gather up any samples of what was ingested (like wrappers, pieces of the product, etc.).
- If your pet did vomit or have diarrhea, try to collect a bit to bring with you to the hospital.
- Do not try to treat a pet poisoning at home.
Pet Poisoning Culprits
Being able to act quickly and calmly are assets during a pet poisoning. It’s also critical to reduce exposure to the following common culprits:
- Human medications (ibuprofen, naproxen, antidepressants, and more) and those not intended for pets can cause major problems.
- Overdosing on flea and tick medications can be toxic.
- Foods like chocolate, coffee, alcohol, macadamia nuts, avocado, onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, and Xylitol are all considered dangerous.
- Rodenticides can be lethal.
- Plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, daffodils, tulips, and Sago palms (to name a few) should not be displayed inside the home. Closely monitor your pet if these are planted outside.
- Household cleaners, automotive chemicals, such as antifreeze, and products like paint thinner are all threats to your pet’s health.
- During warmer months, exercise caution around fertilizers and other lawn products (including insecticides and pesticides).
- Batteries and pennies both contain heavy metals that can cause anemia and other illnesses.
Treating a Pet Poisoning
An animal’s size and age, the amount of toxin consumed, and the severity of symptoms will determine treatment. Sometimes inducing vomiting is an effective first step, in addition to flushing the system with IV fluids. A pet poisoning can cause neurological and/or gastrointestinal problems, cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, coma, and even death.
Manage the Environment
Storing products effectively will help decrease your pet’s risk. If you observe any of the following symptoms, please let us know immediately:
- Drunken behavior
- Uncoordinated movements
- Lethargy or withdrawal
- Rapid heart beat
- Seizures or uncontrollable shaking
- Excessive urination
Our caring staff is always here for your pet, and we hope to take the ”guesswork” out of responsible pet ownership. Good luck and be safe!