Exposure to Toxic Chemicals in Dogs

Exposure to Toxic Chemicals in Dogs

If you suspect that your dog has been exposed to toxic chemicals there are a few steps to take to ensure this incident turns out for the best. Preparation and awareness can not substitute for veterinarian care but, can help save your dog’s life in the event that the vet isn’t accessible or you have little time to get him proper medical attention.

Call For Help

First, you should call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680 or your local poison control center as they will have information that could save your pet’s life and possible prevent a veterinarian visit. You should be aware that some poison control centers will not deal with animal poisoning but, they can point you in the right direction to an agency that can help. Make sure you have all of the important information available such as your dog’s weight, his age, time frame of the possible exposure and other health issues. You will need to give a clear account of the situation so the operator has all of the facts. If you have the possible toxic chemical available, keep it with you during the phone call, this can be very important.

There Are Two Scenarios We Should Consider:

First, if you know your dog has been exposed to toxic chemicals and you know which chemical to which she was exposed. In this case, being prepared ahead of time and knowing what to do based on that particular chemical can save your dog’s life. Second, If your dog is showing signs or symptoms of being exposed to toxic chemicals but, you don’t know which chemical it was or even if she was exposed, observation is key. Make constant record of her actions and symptoms. Knowing these details can help a professional make a better decision about what procedure to do next, such as stomach pumping or hydration methods.

Most toxic chemicals will cause at least one or two of the following symptoms:

    • Diarrhea
    • Seizures
    • Fever
    • Vomiting
    • Vomiting blood
    • Sudden loss of appetite
    • Depression or lack of normal activity
    • Coughing or trouble breathing
    • Lethargic walking or dizziness
    • Excessively wet panting
    • Dilated pupils
    • Increased or decreased heart rate

Different Dogs Can Have Different Reactions

Some toxic chemicals can have a different effect on different dogs. Not all symptoms show up in the same way. Some dogs who have been exposed to a toxin can get grouchy or snappy which may be way out of line with their typical disposition but when a dog is unsure of what is going on in his body and how he feels seems out of his control he can react differently. So it is best to muzzle him, if possible, in order to keep him from biting not only you but, himself.

Prevention

The best option is always prevention. If a chemical is harmful to humans then it is more than likely harmful for you dog. Even though most pet poisoning is unintentional, it is usually because we aren’t seeing the world from our pet’s eyes and therefore forgetting to put away chemicals or toxins that seem harmless because they have a lid or a cap that is child-proof. However, child-proof lids can be chewed off by overzealous chewers. So just because it is child-proof doesn’t mean it is dog-proof.

References

American Veterinary Medical Association- First-Aid Procedures

PetMd- Emergency Poisoning

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