Dog Friendly Tips: Poisoning
Pain, trembling, panting, vomiting, convulsions, coma, slimy mouths are all symptoms of poisoning. Any of these, except a caustically burned mouth, may also be a symptom of another illness. If your dog should manifest any of these symptoms, investigate immediately to see if it has been poisoned.
Animals are very seldom deliberately poisoned. Usually they are poisoned either by chewing plants that have been sprayed, by gnawing at a piece of wood that has some lead paint pigment on it, by catching a ground mole that has been poisoned with cyanide, or by consuming poison put out for other rodents or insects, by eating infected garbage, or lapping antifreeze. Since none of the poisons are easily traced, you ought to know the procedure to follow in case your pet may have been poisoned.
An emetic must be administered immediately. The loss of a few minutes may give the poison time to do irremediable damage. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. Force your pet to take one and a half tablespoonfuls of this mixture for each ten pounds of its body weight. A pup needs less than one tablespoonful, a large dog seven to eight tablespoonfuls.
If in two or three minutes the contents of the stomach have not been regurgitated, repeat the dose. Either mustard or a strong salt solution can be used as an emetic, but hydrogen peroxide has proved to be most effective.
If the poison was known to have been ingested hours before, an emetic may be too late.
Following administration of the emetic, call your vet. If you know the source of the poisoning and can look on the package it came from, you will find the antidote on the label. If you don't know the poison that your pet has ingested, your vet may be able to identify it from the symptoms and give further appropriate treatment.
If there is any chance that poison can be the cause of intestinal trouble, it is imperative that all traces of the poison be eliminated before giving the dog drugs which will stop bowel movement and allow the intestines to become quiescent. Many dog are saved by inducing vomiting promptly.
If the substance is suspected to have entered the small intestine, from which it cannot be regurgitated, a through and through enema is a lifesaver. This is administered by a vet, who introduces water rectally until vomiting occurs. It may require many quarts of water and patience.
Once the poison is removed, our job is to give such common home remedies as milk of bismuth, paregoric, or strong tea for its tannic acid content. Strangely enough, some cases are benefited by castor oil, which removes the cause and tends to be followed by constipation. Veterinarians will prescribe effective prescription drugs.
The same drugs that are useful in human care can be employed: a variety of mixtures containing kaolin, bismuth, pectin - your vet will advise you on their use.