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How can I tell if my dog has been poisoned?

Our veterinarians in Bonita Springs understand that dogs have a tendency to chew on things that can be harmful to them. As a responsible pet owner, it is crucial to identify the initial signs that your dog may have been poisoned, and also know how to respond if your dog is displaying any poisoning symptoms.

How can someone tell if a dog has been poisoned?

Identifying dog poisoning can be challenging, as symptoms vary depending on the toxin ingested and the amount consumed. However, being vigilant about any unusual behavior or symptoms can make all the difference.

Here are some common signs that may indicate your dog has been poisoned:

  • Vomiting and Diarrhea: Sudden and severe vomiting or diarrhea, especially if accompanied by blood, is a red flag for poisoning.
  • Lethargy and Weakness: If your dog appears unusually tired or weak, it could be a sign of poisoning.
  • Difficulty Breathing: Labored breathing or coughing may indicate respiratory distress caused by toxic substances.
  • Seizures or Tremors: Convulsions or tremors are serious symptoms of poisoning and require immediate medical attention.
  • Excessive Drooling: Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth can be a sign of neurological toxicity.
  • Loss of Appetite: A sudden loss of interest in food or water may indicate poisoning.
  • Pale Gums or Jaundice: Changes in gum color or the appearance of jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) could signal liver damage from toxic substances.
  • Unusual Behavior: Agitation, confusion, or disorientation are common signs of poisoning in dogs.
  • Collapse or Unconsciousness: If your dog collapses or becomes unconscious, it's a medical emergency requiring immediate attention.
  • Evidence of Ingested Substances: Finding chewed or broken containers, plants, or remnants of toxic substances near your dog can help confirm poisoning.

How can a dog be poisoned?

It's crucial to keep your dog safe from toxic or poisonous items in your home and garden. Therefore, it's essential to be aware of your dog's location at all times and to keep any potentially harmful substances out of their grasp.

There are numerous common household substances that are poisonous to dogs, such as:

  • 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

What to do if you think your dog has been poisoned?

If your dog has been poisoned, stay calm and call your Southwest Florida Veterinary Specialists 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.

When to seek professional emergency vet care?

Knowing when to seek emergency vet care can be a matter of life or death for your dog. If you observe any of the following signs, seek immediate veterinary attention:

  • Difficulty breathing or respiratory distress
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Loss of consciousness or collapse
  • Profuse vomiting or diarrhea with blood
  • Ingestion of known toxic substances
  • Any other concerning symptoms that indicate poisoning

Recognizing the signs of dog poisoning and responding promptly can make all the difference in your pet's survival. By staying vigilant, seeking immediate veterinary care, and taking preventative measures, you can help keep your furry companion safe from the dangers of poisoning.

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 shows any signs of poisoning, please bring them to our office immediately. Our vets in Bonita Springs are available 365 days a year, 24/7.

Our 24/7 Emergency Care in Bonita Springs 

Contact (239) 992-8387