March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month

A great time to educate clients about some common household pet toxins and to brush up on your toxicology knowledge.

if you suspect your dog has been poisoned, call your nearest emergency veterinarian immediately and follow their instructions.

When you call, the vet may instruct you to give your dog a counteractive substance, fluids to dilute the poison or help it pass through the system, or medicine.

They may also instruct you to induce vomiting or bring your dog to the pet emergency room for treatment immediately.

It is important that you do NOT take any of these steps without veterinary instructions because different cases of poisoning require different solutions.

Symptoms of poisoning in dogs vary depending on the substance that has been ingested, but they may include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea or bloody stool

  • Excessive urination

  • Seizures

  • Nosebleeds

  • Loss of appetite

  • Unusual behavior

  • Dizziness

  • Loss of coordination

  • Lethargy

  • Unusual breathing patterns or heartbeat

Keep in mind, these are only a few signs of poisoning, and other symptoms may appear

While accidents happen, the best method of keeping dogs safe from poisoning is prevention.

Here are some of the substances that cause the most poisonings in dogs:

  • Chocolate, grapes, and several other human foods (ask your vet before sharing food with your dog)

  • Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol–found in many candies and peanut butters

  • Household cleaners and chemicals

  • Certain soaps

  • Certain essential oils and liquid potpourri

  • Paint

  • Heavy metals, including those in pennies

  • Pesticides or herbicides

  • Fertilizer

  • Antifreeze

  • Alcohol

  • Caffeine

  • Tobacco or vape liquid

  • Prescription or recreational drugs, including marijuana

  • Human vitamins

  • Rodent poison

  • Batteries

  • Glow sticks

  • Fabric softener

  • Several types of plants, including sago palm, oleander, azaleas, poinsettias, lilies, and spring bulbs

  • Kerosene, gasoline, or torch fluid

  • Snail bait

  • Toxic toads–native to many parts of the United States

  • Poisonous mushrooms

  • Mothballs

Please help spread the word during Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month and National Poison Prevention Week so we can help save dogs’ lives.

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