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How can I tell if my dog has been poisoned?

Our veterinarians in Seattle are aware that dogs tend to chew on harmful objects. As a responsible pet owner, it is crucial to identify your dog's initial symptoms of poisoning and understand the necessary steps to take if such symptoms are observed.

Dog Poisoning

Due to their curious nature, it's not uncommon for dogs to accidentally get poisoned. This often leaves caring pet owners worried and unsure of what to do.

At times, dogs may be exposed to harmful substances or consume treats that are not suitable for their metabolism, leading to poisoning.

Common Household Items Toxic to Dogs

It's crucial to remember that your home and garden might contain items that could be harmful or toxic to your dog. That's why you should always be aware of your dog's whereabouts and take the necessary precautions to ensure that potentially dangerous substances are out of your dog's reach.

Some of the most commonly found household substances that can be poisonous to dogs include:

  • Chocolate
  • Raisins
  • Xylitol (low-calorie sweetener)
  • Bleach
  • Oven cleaner
  • Laundry detergent
  • Tylenol
  • Alcohol
  • Gasoline
  • Tobacco
  • Furniture polish
  • Drain cleaners
  • Antidepressants
  • Snail, slug or rodent poisons
  • Fungi
  • Yew trees
  • Acorns
  • Spring bulbs

How do you know if your dog has been poisoned?

Signs and symptoms of poisoning in dogs vary depending on the type of poison they are exposed to and can be categorized into a few different types.

  • Symptoms caused by swallowed poisons can include vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, and heart issues.
  • Inhaled toxins may cause breathing difficulties or loss of consciousness in dogs.
  • If your dog's skin comes in contact with a poisonous substance typical symptoms include irritation and pain.

It's important to note that the symptoms of poisoning typically take several days to appear, and in some cases, they could even take months. 

Long-Term Symptoms of Dog Poisoning

If you suspect your dog has ingested a poisonous substance, seek medical attention immediately. It is a common misconception that your dog is immune to the toxic substance's harmful effects because he does not exhibit any symptoms at first.

However, some long-term symptoms may appear, including an irregular heartbeat, kidney failure, liver damage, blood loss, and neurological symptoms such as seizures. As a result, acting quickly in such situations is critical to ensuring your pet's safety.

What To Do If You Think Your Dog Has Been Poisoned

During the first signs of a dog being poisoned, stay calm and call your Seattle emergency vet immediately.

Make sure to get your dog well away from the poisonous substance. If your dog got into it once, they may head right back to it while you are on the phone. Safely move the substance well out of your dog's reach.

Do not try to administer doggie first aid. Different poisonous substances require different actions. While some cases may call for inducing vomiting, in other cases, inducing vomiting could make your dog even sicker. Get your dog to the vet as quickly as possible and let your veterinary professionals administer appropriate treatment.

If you know what has poisoned your dog, bring any packaging or a sample of the poison safely to your vet's office. The packaging will help your vet fully understand the situation and how best to treat your dog.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog has ingested a toxic substance, please contact our Seattle vets immediately and we can explain how to stabilize your dog and bring them to the emergency vet safely.

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