What To Do If Your Fur Baby Is Poisoned

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In a prior article, I shared a list of common (and often forgotten) household items and substances that can threaten the health of your fur baby. If you missed the article, we highly encourage you to go back and read it—education, after all, is the best method for prevention! 

Our furry friends are curious creatures, and even after taking every precaution and being the most responsible pet parent, we cannot guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to them. That’s why we are using this week’s article to provide valuable (and potentially life-saving) advice on how to respond to a potential pet poisoning. 

  1. Know the Warning Signs. Even if you did not personally witness your fur baby coming into contact with a toxic substance, abnormal or “strange” behavior is a good indicator that something is out of the ordinary with your pet. Signs of pet poisoning differ based on how your fur baby came into contact with the substance, but here are some common symptoms:
    1. For Consumed Poison: lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, staggering and disorientation, agitation and restlessness, and loss of appetite. 
    2. For Inhaled Poison: breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, excessive drooling or coughing.
    3. For Contact-Related Poisoning: swelling (hives), excessive scratching and licking; skin can appear red, ulcerated or bleeding under your fur baby’s coat.
  2. Investigate. If you suspect poisoning, try to gather as much information as possible—including the potential source, how your fur baby came into contact with it, and how much of it you suspect was ingested or exposed. If taking your pet to the vet (see #3), try to bring a sample of the toxic substance with you for reference, too.
  3. Seek Professional Help. Even if your furry friend is not showing immediate signs of illness, it is important to act quickly. Poisons can have a delayed effect, and symptoms may not appear for hours or even days—plus, treatment becomes more difficult once a pet is symptomatic. We recommend seeking medical guidance as soon as possible. Keep the following contact information handy:
    1. Animal Poison Control Center (24 Hour Hotline): (888) 426-4435
    2. Pet Poison Helpline: (800) 213-6680
    3. Your fur baby’s veterinary clinic 
    4. The local emergency veterinary clinic (urgent care, often open 24 hours)
  4. Don’t panic. When your beloved fur baby is poisoned, you may be tempted to offer a home remedy, such as inducing vomiting or bathing, but these can do more harm than good. Online information is not the same as professional medical advice, so wait to “treat” your pet until you have spoken with a veterinary professional. 

Passionate Paws Animal Hospital is a proud member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

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