Everything a dog owner should know about dog poisoning

Dogs are very different from people and some things that are okay for humans to eat, touch or inhale can be deadly for dogs. In most cases, the result of poisoning is only visible after some time (a few hours to a few days) and in some cases, treatment comes too late. In this article, we will tell you what substances are poisonous for dogs, how to diagnose poisoning and administer first aid to your pet.

Don’t use salt if your dog injected poison

You should never make your dog (or another animal) vomit with the help of salt! This can cause salt poisoning and your dog can even die from this.

Three modes of poisoning in dogs and other pets

  • oral intake (your dog has eaten something);
  • inhalation (your animal has inhaled something);
  • skin contact.

Symptoms of poisoning in dogs

Every form of poisoning has its own symptoms. Some symptoms appear immediately after the poisoning, others only appear after a few days.
The most common symptoms of poisoning are:
  • vomiting;
  • abnormal breathing;
  • abnormal heartbeat;
  • reduced level of consciousness;
  • diarrhea;
  • excessive salivation/foam coming from the mouth.

Causes of poisoning in dogs

There are many substances that can be toxic to your dog. Foods that are toxic to your pet can include:
  • chocolate;
  • grapes (raisins);
  • onions, garlic, leeks and chives;
  • mustard;
  • nuts (peanuts, macadamias);
  • fruit seeds (apple, pear);
  • avocados (both meat and stone);
  • Xylitol (a component of chewing gum);
  • tomato (green parts only).
Poisonous plants for your animal:
  • lilies;
  • Christmas rose & poinsettia;
  • most indoor and outdoor plants;
  • various mushrooms;
  • blue-green algae (pay extra attention to this if your dog likes to swim).
Toxic medication for your pet:
  • pain killers such as paracetamol;
  • medications intended for humans;
  • drugs.
  • Other common pet poisons:
  • household (cleaning) products;
  • rat/mouse poison;
  • snail poison;
  • antifreeze;
  • toads (which secrete toxic substances);
  • salt.

Diagnosing poisoning in dogs

If your dog is showing symptoms of poisoning, you need to act very quickly. In some cases, blood tests can show abnormalities, such as reduced kidney function or anemia.

Treatment of poisoning in dogs

The appropriate treatment varies depending on the substance the dog was poisoned with and the route through which poison entered the pet’s body. It is important to always contact your vet first!

Important information to tell your vet in case of a suspected poisoning:

  • name of the toxic agent and the estimated amount;
  • when did the poisoning occur?
  • are there any symptoms of poisoning?
  • weight and age of the animal;
  • have you started administering any treatment?

If the poison was injected orally:

Depending on the drug, an appropriate treatment will be chosen by the vet. For example, the vet can decide to make the animal vomit or to administer a laxative to it. Norit is often prescribed,, as it removes toxic substances from the blood. Norit does not work for all types of poisoning.
In severe cases, the vet will hospitalize the dog and administer intravenous infusions (infusions through the vein) and additional tests, for example, blood tests.

If the poison was inhaled:

When inhaling toxins, the dog often experiences respiratory or neurological problems, such as drooling and convulsions. Inhaled smoke can also block the airway hours later. Treatment by the vet will have to be started immediately.

If the poison came into contact with the skin:

In many cases, it is recommended to remove the substance from the skin/coat with Biotex. Oral poisoning often also takes place here because animals want to lick their skin/coat clean themselves.