One of the most common reasons we see pets on emergency is poisonings – most often a case of a dog or a cat accidentally eating something they should not have. We have a few tips of what to do if you think your pet has been poisoned…
First, search the area to gather any remains of what you think may have been ingested (ex: a chewed up medicine bottle). This removes any additional toxins from your pet’s reach and helps provide information to the veterinarian. If available, determine what has been ingested and how much (ex: approximately ½ of a 100 count bottle of 200mg Advil). Labels are essential whether it is a medicine bottle, food label, or bag of fertilizer. Call a veterinary professional immediately, even if your pet is not showing any signs of illness. Earlier intervention leads to a better prognosis because treatments such as inducing vomiting and administration of activated charcoal can help reduce exposure if performed within a certain time window.
Do NOT perform any medical treatments prior to speaking to a veterinary professional. Often people assume that inducing vomiting is a treatment that can easily be performed at home. However, inducing vomiting can be more dangerous and harmful depending on the specific situation. Additionally, do NOT give your pet milk, oils, or other common home remedies unless directed by a veterinary professional.
In the event that you are unable to seek immediate veterinary attention, Pet Poison Hotline and ASPCA Animal Poison Control are two incredibly helpful resources available by phone 24/7. Experts assess if the substance is toxic, describe the signs of illness expected, and provide information on treatments necessary. This information can be provided to you AND your veterinarian. Keep in mind there is a consultation fee of approximately $60-70 for this service.
Pet poisonings are scary, but they can often be easily managed with early intervention. Please call Wellington Veterinary Hospital or seek immediate veterinary attention if you think your pet may have ingested a poisonous substance.