Dogs are curious by nature and they love to explore dirty places. This can make them have direct contact with poison insects, dead animals remain and toxic plants. Their indiscriminate eating habits often lead to poisoning. Unless you or another person witnesses the ingestion or exposure to the poison, diagnosis may be difficult.
Some of the potentially dangerous substances that can be consumed by your dog include:
Chocolate which contains a substance called theobromine which can cause your dog to develop symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizure, heart problems and even death. The illness depends mainly on the amount of chocolate consumed.
Plants such as sago palm, oleander, azalea, mistletoe and Easter lily etc. which are highly toxic and can cause your dog to exhibit symptoms such as rash, cramp, vomiting and kidney problems.
Rat baits contain inert ingredients that can attract your pet to sniff and eat.
Bleach can cause drooling, vomiting, and abdominal pain to your dog.
Human drugs can be dangerous to the dog if used improperly. Keep all the medicines out of your dog’s reach.
The symptoms of a poisoned dog are varied and may mimic other illnesses. The most common symptoms include:
Lack of appetite.
Difficulty in breathing.
Some poisons may cause hyper excitability.
Muscle rigidity or tremors.
Heart, kidney or liver disorders.
Sensitivity to touch.
Light or sound which may trigger seizures, and lead to coma and death.
Some poisons are inhaled or absorbed into the body but most are ingested. The effect of the poison is not always immediately apparent. Although most signs of poisoning appear within three days, the toxic substance may not cause illness for days, months, or even years. The prognosis depends upon what the poisonous substance is, how much of the poison the dog has been exposed to and how long it remains in the body before treatment is begun. Immediate treatment may prevent significant illness, but some poisonings may cause permanent damage or death even if treatment is begun right away. If your dog ingests a potentially poisonous substance but does not appear ill at the moment, don't assume he/she is okay. Call the veterinarian immediately.
If the dog has come into contact with the poisonous substance on the skin, a bath in warm water with soap is the best way to clean the dog and stop it from licking the poison off. Even if the dog is not showing any signs of discomfort with the poison on its skin or coat, it should be washed off immediately.
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