“Poison” is a scary word. We all know what it means – a substance that can cause death, injury or harm to one’s organs. But, not everyone knows which household items or commonly eaten foods threaten our beloved pets.
Poisons to animals are found in a wide range of substances. This long list includes indoor and outdoor plants, common human foods, prescription medications, recreational drugs, chemicals and solutions found around the house.
To prevent poison exposure, it is important to ensure household materials, cleaners, chemicals, foods and medications poisonous to animals are kept well contained and out of reach of pets.
Signs Of Poison Ingestion
Most commonly, pets ingest (or eat) poisonous materials. Typically, the first sign of a poison ingestion is vomiting or diarrhea. Other signs could include changes in behavior, wobbly walking and collapse, tremors or even seizure activity.
What You Should Do
If you believe that your pet has eaten a poisonous substance, call a veterinarian immediately. If your regular veterinarian is unavailable or it is after hours, seek the help of an emergency practice. For those in the Charlotte area, CARE is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call ahead to let us know to expect you.
To ensure the best treatment, take a picture or write down the information of the substance your pet has ingested. The more your vet knows, the more targeted the treatment can be.
Veterinarians will treat each patient based on their unique case. The type of poison and the effects it may have your beloved pet will determine the course of treatment that is taken. Many poisons require hospitalization for supportive care and monitoring. Further, specific treatments are best for different poisons. For instance, some poisons have an antidote, while others require symptomatic treatment depending on the signs your pet is showing.
It is important to note that some materials may cause long-term health problems such as organ damage. In these instances, the poison most frequently damages the liver or kidneys.
If a CARE vet is uncertain of the poison, s/he will recommend contacting a 24/7 veterinary toxicology service for a professional consultation on the poison to help determine the best treatment for the patient.