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How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Been Poisoned?

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Been Poisoned?

Our Poway emergency vets know that dogs love to chomp on things they shouldn't. In this article, we explain how to spot when a dog has been poisoned, and what to do if you are in this situation. 

Dog Poisoning

Accidental poisoning is one of the most common situations involving dogs. Often, our beloved family pets end up accessing substances they shouldn't, causing distress and concern for their owners.

In some instances, dogs may come into contact with toxic substances, while in other cases, they may consume treats or food items that are unsuitable for their metabolism. It is important for dog owners to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to prevent such incidents from occurring.

Common Household Items Toxic to Dogs

The environment within your home and garden may contain various items that can be toxic or poisonous to your dog. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain awareness of your dog's whereabouts and take steps to prevent their access to potentially harmful substances.

Keeping a close eye on your dog's activities and whereabouts helps ensure their safety. Additionally, it is important to store hazardous substances, such as cleaning products, medications, chemicals, and certain plants, in secure locations that are out of your dog's reach. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of your curious dog ingesting harmful substances and experiencing health issues.

Some of the most common household substances that are poisonous to dogs are:

  • Raisins
  • Xylitol (low-calorie sweetener)
  • Bleach
  • Oven cleaner
  • Laundry detergent
  • Chocolate
  • Tylenol
  • Alcohol
  • Furniture polish
  • Gasoline
  • Tobacco
  • Drain cleaners
  • Antidepressants
  • Yew trees
  • Snail, slug or rodent poisons
  • Fungi
  • Acorns
  • Spring bulbs

Signs & Symptoms of Poisoning in Dogs

Depending on the type of poison, the early signs and symptoms of poisoning in dogs vary tremendously but fall into a few categories: 

  • Inhaled toxins may cause breathing difficulties or loss of consciousness in dogs.
  • If your dog's skin comes in contact with a poisonous substance typical symptoms include irritation and pain.
  • Symptoms caused by swallowed poisons can include vomiting, diarrhea, agitation and heart issues.

It's important to note that the symptoms of poisoning typically take a number of days to appear, and in some cases could even take months. 

Long-Term Symptoms of Dog Poisoning

If you suspect or know that your dog has ingested something poisonous, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary treatment. It's important to note that the absence of immediate symptoms does not guarantee the safety of your dog from the effects of the toxic substance.

Exposure to poisonous substances can lead to various long-term symptoms and complications. These may include irregular heartbeats, kidney failure, liver damage, blood loss, and neurological symptoms such as seizures. The severity and specific symptoms can vary depending on the substance ingested.

To ensure the well-being of your dog, do not delay in contacting a veterinarian or an animal poison control hotline. They can provide you with immediate guidance and recommend appropriate measures or treatments to minimize the potential harm caused by the poisonous substance. Remember, swift action is crucial in cases of poisoning.

What To Do If Your Dog Has Been Poisoned

If your dog has been poisoned stay calm and call your Poway emergency vet, immediately.

Make sure to get your dog well away from the poisonous substance. If your dog got into it once, they may head right back to it while you are on the phone. Safely move the substance well out of your dog's reach.

Do not try to administer doggie first aid. Different poisonous substances require different actions. While some cases may call for inducing vomiting, in other cases inducing vomiting could make your dog even more sick. Get your dog to the vet as quickly as possible and let your veterinary professionals administer appropriate treatment.

If you know what has poisoned your dog, bring any packaging or a sample of the poison safely to your vet's office. The packaging will help your vet to get a full understanding of 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.

If your dog is experiencing any symptoms of poisoning, visit our office right away. Our reliable team of emergency vets is here for your pet.

Experienced Emergency Vet Care in Poway

Animal Emergency Clinic of San Diego is a family-run after-hours and critical care hospital, providing veterinary emergency care since 1985. If your pet is experiencing an emergency, contact us to get the help your pet needs.

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(858) 748-7387