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First Aid : Poisons

13. Poisons:

Poisons can be eaten, absorbed through the skin, and inhaled. Poisonings can mimic many things. Some poisons act immediately, some take days to appear, potentially making diagnosis difficult.

Call your veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic immediately. Have the following information ready:

Exact name of toxin ingested, inhaled, or absorbed.
Approximately how much of the toxin was ingested
How long ago you suspect that your dog may have been poisoned
Approximate weight of your pet
What signs your pet is showing — vomiting, tremors, salivation, etc., and general observations — such as color of the gums (capillary refill time), respiratory rate, heart rate, and if possible, body temperature.
If the poison is known, take the box or package with you.

Never induce vomiting without consulting your veterinarian or Poison Control center first. Some toxins are caustic, and vomiting will only increase damage. Some toxins need to be neutralized with activated charcoal, others need to be expelled by vomiting, and still others have antidotes.

If you’re told to induce vomiting you can use 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of hydrogen peroxide orally or a teaspoon of salt placed in your dog’s mouth. Keep a sample of the vomit for testing.

Topical toxins need to be rinsed (skin, eye) with copious amounts of water, but be sure to wear gloves to avoid contaminating yourself.

Related Pages

Dog first aid essential advice on first aid for dogs

Dog first aid kit – essential first aid items


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