Toxic Ingestion in Pets and How We Can Help

Pets are often curious creatures that are always ready to sample a new substance to see what it tastes like. Unfortunately, this impulse can lead them into trouble when they ingest toxic substances that can be life-threatening. Immediate veterinary care can help to remove the poisonous substance and save your pet’s life. At Cedar Grove Animal Hospital in Mission, B.C., we provide emergency vet services, such as toxic ingestion.

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Common Toxic Substances

The most common ingested substances that cause problems for pets are over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription medications that fall and are found by the animal. These pills should always be kept in medicine cabinets and carefully administered. Other poisonous substances include chocolate, foods containing the sweetener xylitol, macadamia nuts, grapes, and raisins, which pets may get into when the food is not being supervised.  Alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and raw yeast are other toxic foods. Some plants that are kept both indoors and outdoors can be poisonous when ingested by pets. Household chemicals can also be a problem. You should always be extremely careful when using insecticides or rodenticides around your home.

Symptoms of Toxic Ingestion

Some toxic ingestion symptoms are obvious and involve a change in physical condition, such as repeated vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, or unconsciousness. Other symptoms of toxic ingestion may be more subtle, such as lethargy, drooling, weakness, or poor coordination.

Treatment for Toxic Ingestion

The treatment of toxic ingestion depends on the type of substance that is ingested. In some cases, vomiting may be induced to remove it from the animal’s body. However, in other cases, this method is too hazardous, and other methods are used. Gastric lavage washes the internal cavity of the stomach to remove the substance. Activate charcoal may be administered to absorb the substance. Enemas or medications to increase urination may be given to help remove the substance from the body. Our vets may also assist in helping your pet’s breathing and maintaining their heart rate or body temperature. Careful observation may be needed for a period after treatment is given.

Make Cedar Grove Animal Hospital Your Veterinarian in Mission, B. C.

Dr. Rebele, Dr. Stuart, and Dr. Nagatani combine their extensive training to help their patients in Mission, B.C. maintain good health at every stage of life. We offer many veterinary services for pets, including vaccinations, wellness care, diagnostics, parasite prevention, laser therapy, and more. Call Cedar Grove Animal Hospital today at 604-820-8552 for an appointment or to learn more about how we can help your pet.