If a pet has ingested a poison or it is suspected that a pet has ingested
poison, it is important to remain calm and immediately contact a vet. Time
is of the essence in cases of poisoning. Once medical attention has been
sought, it will also help to know what poison a pet has consumed as this
effects the treatment.
If poison is suspected due to behavior there are a
couple things to consider once medical attention has been sought. Snake bites
can create a reaction similar to that of poison. Typically there will be
a noticeable bite mark. Location has an impact on the toxic risks that a
pet faces. Not only snakes but certain toads if licked or swallowed by a
pet can cause serious problems. In some areas plants are also toxic. For
dogs some fairly common poisons include rat poison, chocolate, antifreeze
and eating trash. While eating trash most commonly results in minor to moderate
digestive trouble from consuming either inappropriate or spoiled foods, there
is the potential for a dog to eat something more dangerous/toxic.
items can also be toxic for cats, yet they also face a risk from being given
medicines intended for dogs. Whether it is flea and tick treatments, or pain
relievers, these products intended for dogs can be toxic for cats. While
there are some products that can be used on dogs and cats, it is important
to make sure that any product used on a cat specifically states that it is
a cat friendly product.
Similarly, there is a risk for pets taking human
products. Occasionally there are human medicines that are recommended for
pets, but this should never be done without explicit instructions from a
vet on the type of medicine and the dosage. Many human medicines are toxic
to pets, and need to be kept away from them. If the source of the poison
is a product such as a medicine, rat poison, or cleaning product bring the
packaging with you to the vet as this may provide clues to the vet on how
treatment should proceed. While prevention is obviously best, often it is
only after a pet has come in contact with a poison that the risk is understood.
The ASPCA also has a poison control number which can help in determining
the poison, and providing care instruction. Acting quickly and calmly can
be essential to your pet’s health.