Has Your K9 Been Poisoned?

Posted: July 30, 2010 by at Drills & Tactics

When a dog becomes ill with symptoms of poisoning, their owners tend to look for someone to blame. Although there are occasions where dogs are deliberately poisoned, it’s more likely that their exposure is accidental. Their curious nature leads them to eat things they shouldn’t, particularly if they taste good!

The most common symptoms of poisoning in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, liver and kidney damage, and seizures.

The effects of any poison tend to be dose dependent. This means that the more poison your dog eats, or is exposed to, the worse their symptoms are likely to be. Higher doses also mean longer recovery times, and perhaps a larger vet bill.

Poisoning can be acute or chronic. Acute poisoning happens very quickly, with your dog becoming ill within 24 hours of being exposed to the toxic substance. One example of this is chocolate poisoning, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and tremors within a matter of hours.

Chronic poisoning results from long term exposure to low doses of a poison. Because there is no single incident that makes your dog sick, it can be difficult to work out what might be causing their illness. Dogs can be exposed to particles of lead from flaking paint, and over time, they develop vomiting, lethargy and even seizures.

If you suspect your dog has been poisoned, take them to your veterinarian as soon as you can. Tell them as much as you can about your dog’s recent activities. Were they in the garage when you were changing your car’s antifreeze? Perhaps they licked some up and it has affected their kidneys. Have you recently laid some rat baits around your home? They may contain chemicals that prevent blood from clotting. If your dog has nibbled on them, that could explain the bruising on their tummy.

You can expect that you vet will want to run some blood tests on your dog. This is important to see how much the poison has affected his body. The tests will show their blood cell count to make sure they aren’t anemic. They will also indicate how well your dog’s liver and kidneys are working, as these organs are often affected by poisons.

In Summary – The best way to deal with any suspected poisoning in dogs is to get a diagnosis as quickly as possible, and start treatment straight away. This will give your dog the best chance of making a full recovery.