Handling poisoning in animals.

GlassOnion

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#1
I thought this was a pretty good article (written by a vet) about what to do in the case of suspected poisoning in an animal. It's from the Dolittler blog which can be found here.

The ASCPA comment is one I didn't know. Will have to keep that in mind.


Your kitten doesn’t greet you when you come home from work one day. Instead, she’s hiding behind the toilet engrossed in a grim task: playing with the remnants of a bottle of spilled Tylenol gelcaps. ****!—you thought you picked up every last one. Meanwhile, an unseen stash was hiding in the corner.

At least five gelcaps have been bitten to shreds. Their contents are oozing on the floor and around kitten's mouth. This can’t be good.

After yesterday’s post, which touched on a tragic loss after accidental rat poison ingestion, it seems appropriate to discuss the right protocol for poisonings. Sure, it’s a different approach for every toxin but there is some common ground for how these situations should be handled. Here’s ten points you need to know:

1-Keep the pet poison control number handy. If you live in the US, the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center is the organization most veterinarians are comfortable with. The center charges $60 per phone call (and it’s well worth it). Keep the number handy or simply bookmark the home page for easy reference.

2-If you suspect poisoning from a specific substance, pick up the remnants of the toxin, the box, the bottle and anything associated with it. Keep this “evidence†handy so you can answer your veterinarian or poison control’s detailed questions.

3-Attempt to ascertain how much of the substance could have been ingested. Think worst-case scenario for safety’s sake.

4-Try to establish a timeframe for when the poison may have been ingested. It makes a difference whether an hour might have lapsed…or an entire weekend. (Sometimes animal-related evidence reveals itself way after the fact. We understand this. Don’t be shy about revealing the extent of your potential inattention. It can happen.)

5-If you’re not sure whether the offending item is poisonous, call a veterinarian you trust—immediately. Alternatively (in the middle of the night, for instance), call the pet poison control center right away. Do NOT rely on advice from friends, family, neighbors or your vet’s reception desk. Though they may know the right answer, it’s always best to get the info first hand from someone who’s trained to address these issues.

6-NEVER induce vomiting or administer home remedies for poisonings without talking to a trained individual first. I’ve seen seizuring pets die from ill-advised milk and oil administration. Caustic compounds can damage sensitive anatomic structures on their way back up. It’s best to let a professional do these things—or at least walk you through them.

7-Sometimes the item isn’t technically a toxin. Think Koosh ball, for example. Or an entire Kong toy. This is not the poison control’s purview any more; it’s your vet’s—or the ER vet’s. Immediate attention in these cases can make the difference between an easy resolution via induced vomiting or a nasty intestinal obstruction several days later.

8-When you’ve determined that the poison your pet ingested requires veterinary attention, my preferred approach—whether it be Tylenol, plants or toilet bowl cleaner—is to open up a file with the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center. You can do this on your way to the hospital (or when you called to determine whether the toxin required medical attention).

(This service costs no more than the $60 phone call. Whether the poison control’s toxicologists need to be in constant contact with your vet for two weeks or tell you your pet will be fine, the fee is the same.)

Poison control will advise your veterinarian as to the best course of treatment: induce vomiting or not, fluids or not, charcoal or not, antidotes, labwork, surgery, etc. I cannot say enough about the value of this service. There’s no better way to treat a poisoning patient than by the poison control’s books, IMO.

Interestingly, this is something not every vet knows about. But YOU can take control of your pet’s care by initiating this clinical interaction. I think it’s especially helpful when sending my patients to the ER. I know they’ll get great care when the poison control’s on the line.

9-Prevention is the final point I need to make. Keeping tablets and capsules and cleaners and creams away from pets is obviously the best way to handle toxicities. But…

10-…you can’t do this properly without the knowledge of what’s toxic and what’s not. Read over the ASPCA’s FAQ's when it comes to pet poisons. Some of the items may surprise you.
 

sprintime

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#2
Good post, especially at this time of year if you live where it's cold and need antifreeze in the car. this is extremely poisonous to both cats and dogs, so please be sure to check the driveway for any possible leaks from cars.
 

Emmanuel

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#3
Thinking about getting your car winterized this fall? Antifreeze is 95% ethylene glycol, (an important chemical used to prevent your car’s radiator from freezing or your windshield from icing) which is toxic to most animals although dogs, and to a lesser extent cats, appear to be primarily affected. Improper storage and handling of this chemical often leads to poisoning of pets since it has a sweet taste that may be attractive to animals. Most poisonings are accidental, but unfortunately, malicious poisonings may also occur. There is a seasonal nature to the toxicity, with poisoning seen most commonly in the fall and winter when antifreeze is most commonly used.

The chemical formula for ethylene glycol is C2H6O2. It is a colorless and odorless liquid. Antifreeze poisoning is the second most common cause of fatal poisoning in animals according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Ethylene glycol is also present in hydraulic brake fluid, motor oil, inks, paints, and wood stains.

The mortality rate in dogs poisoned by antifreeze ranges from 50 to 70% and is thought to be even higher in cats. A relatively small dose of ethylene glycol is necessary to cause the death of a pet. The minimum lethal dose of ethylene glycol is 4.4 ml/kg in dogs and a mere 1.4 ml/kg in cats.

Antifreeze is quickly absorbed from the digestive tract with peak blood concentrations occurring within three hours of ingestion. Absorption may be delayed when food is in the stomach. Approximately 50% of the ingested ethylene glycol will be excreted unchanged by the kidneys. The other 50% of ingested ethylene glycol is metabolized by an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) in the liver and to a much lesser extent in the kidneys, producing toxic metabolites which cause severe metabolic acidosis and kidney failure. Glycoaldehyde and glycolic acid are thought to be the metabolites primarily responsible for the toxicosis.

Clinical signs of antifreeze toxicity mimic those seen with marijuana, methanol, or ethanol (alcohol) intoxication. The patient will vomit due to GI irritation; they tend to have increased thirst and urination and may exhibit neurologic clinical signs. Neurologic signs are those attributed to the central nervous system, including depression, ataxia (unbalanced), stupor, and an inability of the pet to get up or right itself.

Clinical signs of acute kidney failure occur 12 to 24 hours following ingestion in cats and 36 to 72 hours in dogs. These animals will no longer urinate because they are unable to manufacture urine. They will be lethargic, anorexic, and dehydrated, develop oral ulcers, salivate, and possibly have seizures until becoming comatose. Urine production gradually decreases until no urine is being produced. The kidneys are often swollen and painful.

Hyperphosphatemia (high phosphorous levels in the blood) may be seen within 3 hours of ingestion. Commercial test kits may detect serum concentrations of ethylene glycol 1 to 2 hours after ingestion. Kidney markers BUN and creatinine begin to increase 12 hours after the ingestion of ethylene glycol. Hyperkalemia (high blood potassium levels) corresponds with the decrease in urine production. Approximately 50% of affected patients will have low levels of blood calcium and increased levels of serum glucose.

The prognosis depends upon the dose of ethylene glycol originally received by the patient and the time lapse between ingestion and the administration of treatment. In dogs, the prognosis is good when the toxicosis is recognized and treated within five hours following ingestion. This period is shorter in the cat, with treatment needing to be instituted within three hours of ingestion for the prognosis to be good.

An ethylene glycol toxicosis may be recognized by the development of calcium oxalate crystals in the urine 3 to 6 hours after ingestion in the cat and dog, respectively. These crystals appear as a clear six-sided prism. The blood or urine may also be tested for the presence of ethylene glycol. Serum concentrations of ethylene glycol peak 1 to 6 hours after ingestion and will no longer be detected after 48 to 72 hours. Serum osmolality may be measured one hour after ingestion for the detection of ethylene glycol and will remain high for up to 18 hours after ingestion. Many antifreeze solutions today contain sodium fluorescein, a florescent dye that aids in the detection of leaks in automotive coolant systems. A Wood’s lamp or black light may be used to detect fluorescence from the fluorescein stain in the oral cavity, face, vomit, urine, and coat. The dye is excreted up to six hours following ingestion of ethylene glycol in the urine.
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H

happyguy

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#4
this is a well written article. i believe that dog owners should not shy away from their responsibilities of ensuring the safety of their lovely pets. Adequate attention mustv be given to the pet. thanks once again.
 
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#5
Nice, a very useful one like me who really don't have that enough knowledge when it comes in handling that kind of situation that will happen to my pets.

Try to visit this also a very helpful site on how to handle pet poison care Dog Poison Care
 
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#6
This is a great article, thanks for sharing! Just to add to this, there are a lot of human foods that dogs love to eat which are poisonous at the very least dangerous to them if they eat too much. Among which are:

- alcohol
- chocolates
- tea, coffee, anything w/ caffeine
- human medication
- avocado
- grapes and raisins

We need to be extra vigilant with our dogs as they love human food! :)
 
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#7
This past Halloween my dog got into a bag of chocolate candy and pretty much ate the whole bag. I when immediately online and found that many people said to use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. I gave him only 2 tbs and in minutes he barfed up everything including rappers. It really worked and I felt so much better that I was able to help him and not have to go to the emergency vet.

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rachelstevens

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#9
Most of the impact of food poisoning to be in small dogs, including the recently discovered for the dog food poisoning, can cause liver damage and even death xylitol sugar-free candy fatal. Many cases, may even be toxic to dogs and other common food pet owners must beware when feeding their dogs.
 
H

hershey20

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#10
It really worked and I felt so much better that I was able to help him and not have to go to the emergency vet.
 

spiffy

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#11
Getting a dog is a responsibility that goes beyond providing the pet with its basic needs. Dogs are very intelligent animals but they would not know what is good for them and what is not. Unfortunately, many poisonous substances can be found in every household. Chemicals, pesticides, antifreeze, plants, human medications and foods can poison our little furry friends. A dog owner can never be careful. Dogs are very active and inquisitive and a poisonous substance that is lying around would be investigated and can be ingested by the pet.

Great post. Dog owners will find the article very informative. Thanks!!;)
 
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#12
This is a great article, thanks for sharing! Just to add to this, there are a lot of human foods that dogs love to eat which are poisonous at the very least dangerous to them if they eat too much. Among which are:

- alcohol
- chocolates
- tea, coffee, anything w/ caffeine
- human medication
- avocado
- grapes and raisins

We need to be extra vigilant with our dogs as they love human food! :)
This^

I was horrified to find this out many years ago. I'm aware dark chocolate is especially poisonous to dogs.

I still find it amazing grapes are so bad but I think the important point here is there are a huge amount of things we eat that are extremely dangerous for dogs and we have no idea about it.

Keep anything you know is poisonous away from your dog and if you're unsure about anything, simply don't give it to them and if you suspect poisoning, get him/her to a vet yesterday.

Either way it would be a good idea for all dog owners to have a list of potentially dangerous plants, human foods as well as obvious poisons like anti freeze etc.
This^

I was horrified to find this out many years ago. I'm aware dark chocolate is especially poisonous to dogs.

I still find it amazing grapes are so bad but I think the important point here is there are a huge amount of things we eat that are extremely dangerous for dogs and we have no idea about it.

Keep anything you know is poisonous away from your dog and if you're unsure about anything, simply don't give it to them and if you suspect poisoning, get him/her to a vet yesterday.

Either way it would be a good idea for all dog owners to have a list of potentially dangerous plants, human foods as well as obvious poisons like anti freeze etc.
 
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#13
I thought this was a pretty good article (written by a vet) about what to do in the case of suspected poisoning in an animal. It's from the Dolittler blog which can be found here.

The ASCPA comment is one I didn't know. Will have to keep that in mind.
Poisoning in case of pets really gets on to nerves as we may not be able to know the real cause for initial hours until we are sure of the symptoms. Once we are it really makes one to take care and the tips you have discussed are commendable one indeed. Thanks for sharing.
 
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#14
Quote and Poison

The quote at the bottom of your forum is from Hunter S. Thompson

Thank you for reminding me to write about poisoning in our pets. I need to add some articles to my new blog.

~Jack



I thought this was a pretty good article (written by a vet) about what to do in the case of suspected poisoning in an animal. It's from the Dolittler blog which can be found here.

The ASCPA comment is one I didn't know. Will have to keep that in mind.
 
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#15
Great post!
Thank you for sharing this helpful information to all pet owners out there. Now I know what to do when this situation will occur. I have put the dangerous rat poison in a safety box and also I don't give him human foods that are dangerous to my Max. I don't leave my dog at home alone since we will know what will happen.
 
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#16
Treatment for a poisoned dog is specific for the poison involved and the symptoms. If your pet just gobbled up poison, the treatment may begin by making your pet vomit. Vomiting is actually harmful if your pet ate something that will cause a lung infection if any of the vomitus is coughed into the lungs. For example, poisons that contain petroleum products cause lung infections (aspiration pneumonia) when vomited.
 
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