Poisoning In Dogs – Help Properly, But How?

Unfortunately, it happens again and again that perfidious dog haters lay out poisoned baits. Pieces of meat or dog treats prepared with hydrocyanic acid, rat poison or sharp objects can have fatal consequences and, in the worst case, lead to the death of the animal. But even in the household, there are supposedly harmless substances that can be toxic to the dog. How can you protect your dog from it, how do you recognize poisoning and what can you do in such a case? 

How can you protect your dog?

Unfortunately, there is no remedy against malicious dog haters, whose actions only endanger dogs, but also children who come into contact with poisoned baits. If a poison bait warning is already in place, the dog should be kept on a leash as a precaution and wear a muzzle. The greedy devouring of food is a natural reaction for dogs, it is hardly possible to control it all the time.

However, dog owners can protect their dog from “homemade” poisoning, because there are also dangers lurking in the home: Grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, avocados or chocolate is poisonous to dogs and should never be offered, even in small amounts. Some plants that are often found in the home or garden can also pose a danger to the dog: These include nightshade plants, lily of the valley (often by drinking flower water), conifers, poinsettia, philodendron, oleander, or onions. Supposedly harmless medicines such as aspirin, paracetamol, or tea tree oil also have a toxic effect on animals. You should behave with a dog in the household as you would with a small child: So ban medicines, cleaning agents, and garden chemicals from the reach of the four-legged friend!

How do you know if the dog has poisoned itself?

Depending on the poison and the amount of poison, poisoning can be recognized immediately or a few hours after poisoning. However, there are also a few poisons (e.g. rat poison, thallium) for which there can be a few days between the time of admission and the appearance of the first symptoms.

Symptoms that can occur with poisoning are excessive salivation, tremors, apathy or great excitement, weakness, circulatory problems (collapse with loss of consciousness), vomiting, retching, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, blood in the vomit, in the feces or the urine (in the case of rat poison). In addition, breathing difficulties up as shortness of breath or changes in the pupils and oral mucosa can occur.

What to do in an emergency

Due to the large number of substances that can lead to poisoning, the layperson can’t provide targeted help in an emergency: Therefore: Visit the nearest veterinarian or inform the mobile animal rescue service as soon as possible! Try to secure the substance the dog has ingested and take any leftovers with you to the vet so that treatment can be as targeted as possible.

It is important to give the dog peace and to show him that you are there for him. If the animal is unconscious, it should be laid flat on its side and its head rotated to allow vomit and saliva to spill out of its mouth. Attention: Never make the dog vomit! First, it is not possible to induce vomiting in a dog using the finger-in-the-throat method. And secondly, it can also be dangerous, for example, if toxic stomach contents come up. The feeding of milk or oil should also be avoided as far as possible, as this will accelerate the absorption of some toxins!

How can the vet help?

Whether a treatment is successful depends on many factors, such as the type of poison ingested or the time between the ingestion of the poison and the onset of treatment. But as a rule, the veterinarian can still do a great deal for the patient: First and foremost, the symptoms are treated and the animal’s circulation is supported; at the same time, the vet initiates measures to excrete the poison or to prevent further absorption of the poison into the body. Which measures these depends on the type of poison intake: In the case of substances ingested through the stomach, emetics and diarrhea, gastric lavage, enemas or agents that bind the poison can be used. Fluids can also be given to the body with IV fluids that help dilute toxins and flush them out of the system.

Ava Williams

Written by Ava Williams

Hello, I'm Ava! I have been writing professionally for just over 15 years. I specialize in writing informative blog posts, breed profiles, pet care product reviews, and pet health and care articles. Prior to and during my work as a writer, I spent about 12 years in the pet care industry. I have experience as a kennel supervisor and professional groomer. I also compete in dog sports with my own dogs. I also have cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

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