Dog Poisoning – Symptoms and First Aid

If you have puppies or are considering including one in the family, for sure this article will be helpful. This is a very important topic that we need to know to preserve our dog’s health and, in case of an accident, save your life. Poisoning is more common than it may seem, since the dog may come in contact with a substance toxic to it.

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We know that dogs are, in general, very curious, careless and bumbling, especially the puppies. Therefore, be careful and watch them whenever you can as well as be informed about dog poisoning, symptoms and first aid . We hope you never need to act according to what we are going to explain, but if you do not have a choice, try to stay calm in order to be effective and read carefully.

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Main causes of dog poisoning and advice to prevent it

We can avoid situations in which our faithful friend can be injured or poisoned by accident . For this, it is important to keep potentially dangerous objects out of your reach securely by storing on high cabinet shelves or in lockers. Avoid eating anything on the street, not letting you drink water from the pool or swimming in it when it was brought with chemicals such as chlorine is also essential. The same is true for garden pesticides, which dogs should never touch until they are dry, and many other prevention measures.

There are three forms of canine intoxication :

  1. Cutaneous: When the poison comes in contact with the skin of the animal, being absorbed and entering the body.
  2. Respiratory: When the toxic substance is inhaled by our dog and enters your body through the absorption of the respiratory tract and lungs.
  3. Oral: When the dog eats something improper, causing intoxication.

The following are the most common poisons and poisons that act as poisonous agents:

  • chewing gum with xylitol, avocado, grape, macadamia nuts, onion, garlic, etc.
  • Medications for people (paracetamol, cough syrup, etc.)
  • Insecticides, pesticides, poisons, herbicides and fertilizers (carbamate, amitraz, pyrethrin, arsenic, warfarin, strychnine, etc.)
  • Inks and batteries for cars (lead)
  • Poisonous fungi (Different types of mushrooms)
  • Insects and other venomous animals (Spanish flies, snakes, frogs)
  • Poisonous plants (cyanide)
  • Cleaning products (solvents, chlorine, softeners, detergents, etc.)
  • Desparasitants (some products sprayed on the animals and their environment to remove and remove external parasites)
  • Alcohol (in drinks and other formats)
  • Tobacco (nicotine)

These products and substances that can be found in varied objects, plants and animals are chemicals and enzymes that are toxic to canids and other pets because their bodies are unable to metabolize them .

Symptoms of poisoning in dogs

In case of poisoning, symptoms may appear rapidly or take hours to manifest. In addition, the symptoms vary greatly depending on the substance that caused the intoxication, as well as the amount. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea, including with blood
  • Severe pain with groans
  • Depression and weakness
  • Cough and sneezing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors, involuntary muscle spasms and convulsions
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Muscular stiffness
  • Disorientation
  • Paralysis of any affected or whole body area
  • Severe drowsiness or lethargy
  • Sudden excitability and hyperactivity
  • Collapse and unconsciousness
  • Weakness and fever
  • Excessive salivation
  • Multi-orifice bleed
  • Respiratory and cardiac problems
  • Difficulty of coordination of limbs caused by neurological problems (ataxia)
  • Apathy
  • Darkening of mucous membranes, in some cases
  • Seat excessiva (polidipsia)
  • Very common urination (polyuria)
  • Gastric irritation
  • Swelling, irritation, rash and skin marks
  • Loss of appetite and anorexia

If you notice any of these symptoms, act quickly and call the veterinary emergency department .

Poisoning in dogs, what to do? First aid

When pet poisoning or intoxication occurs, you should go to your veterinarian or a veterinary emergency clinic immediately . Did you know, however, that there are some things you can do as first aid while the vet is on the way? We should, however, do it according to the type of poison and only if the vet agrees. Rapid acting can save the life of your faithful companion.

After detecting the symptoms described above, if possible with the help of someone, inform the veterinarian of any signs you may observe, such as the condition of the dog, symptoms, possible poisons that caused the problem, its composition, labels and anything else that is possible. In addition, you should be aware of the symptoms of your poisoned pet to identify the source of the poisoning. Keep calm and act quickly , not forgetting that in this case, time is different.

These are the most common steps to follow in case of poisoning your faithful friend:

  1. If your dog is very weak, almost fainting or unconscious, or if you know that intoxication happened by inhalation of some substance, the first thing to do is to take him to an open, ventilated and lighted area . better observe the symptoms and offer fresh air to your dog. To raise it, be careful and try to do so in order to get the whole body firmly. If you do not have an outdoor area, areas such as the bathroom or kitchen are generally well-lit places. In addition, water will be nearby, which may be necessary.
  2. On the other hand, we have to carefully remove the visible poison to prevent other animals or people from getting intoxicated as well. It is necessary to keep a sample so that the veterinarian can make the diagnosis.
  3. While you do the previous step, another person can talk to the vet . If you are alone, remove the poison and save a sample after you have stabilized the dog a bit. The professional will help you keep crying and concentrating. The sooner you call the vet, the more chances your dog will survive.
  4. If you could identify the poison, you should give as much information about it to the vet as possible . This includes the name of the product, its active principles, potency, an estimate of the amount ingested by the animal and the time that has elapsed since the moment you suspect it was ingested. The more indications, depending on the type of poison that triggered the poisoning, the more chances of survival your pet will have.
  5. The veterinarian will indicate which first aid you should administer and which should not be, according to the identified poison. For example, one of the first things we should do in case of ingesting poison is to induce vomiting, but you should know that you can never do it if the dog is unconscious or fainted or if the venom is corrosive. If you do so with the dog unconscious, it can cause aspiration of the vomit, leading it to the respiratory system and causing pneumonia. Also, in case the poison is a corrosive substance, the only thing you will do is to cause a second caustic burn in the digestive tract, pharynx and the animal’s mouth, making the situation worse. If the poison was ingested until two or more hours ago, inducing vomit will be quite useless since the digestion is already very advanced or finished. Therefore, it should only induce vomiting if the animal is not unconscious,
  6. You should not offer water, food, milk, oils or any other home remedy until you know for sure what the poison was and how to proceed. That way, it’s best to wait for the veterinarian to give you indications while giving you as much information. This is the right choice as it is impossible to know what will happen when administering home remedies and can have an effect contrary to the desired, worsening the condition of your best friend.
  7. If it is decided that due to the circumstances, you must make your poisoned pet vomit, follow appropriate guidelines for induction of vomiting , in order to avoid unnecessary damage during the process. These guidelines will be addressed in another article called “How to Treat a Poisoned Dog”.
  8. Once induced the vomit, it was able to expel part of the venom of the body of its dog. even so, a part of the substance must have been absorbed by the intestine and therefore should try to reduce the absorption of the toxicant . This can be done with activated carbon, of which we will speak in the article mentioned in the previous point, explaining how to administer.
  9. If the contamination has not occurred by ingestion, but by topical or cutaneous route , poisoning by dust or oily substance that has adhered to the skin of your dog, you should shake the powder with an intense brush and give a bath of warm water using an effective soap to remove the oily substance. If you still can not remove the toxic coating, cut off that piece of hair. It is preferable to remove some coat than to make the dog worse or to contaminate itself again.
  10. If poisoning has occurred through contact with mucous membranes, skin and eyes , rinse the area with plenty of water to remove as much of the harmful substance as possible.
  11. If the affected dog is awake and less stunned, it is good to offer him some fresh water(if the veterinarian does not indicate otherwise), since many poisons ingested by dogs affect the kidneys and liver. Offering a little water helps reduce the impact on these organs. If the dog is not drinking alone, you can slowly administer the water using a syringe in your mouth.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read the similar articles as Poisoning in Dogs – Symptoms and first aid , we recommend you to enter our First Aid section .

    Emily Harris

    Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-pI am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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