Is It Something They Ate? How To Tell If Your Pet Has Been Poisoned

Are you new to being a pet owner? Learn more about how to keep your pet calm and happy while at the veterinarian clinic.

Is It Something They Ate? How To Tell If Your Pet Has Been Poisoned

9 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog

It might be difficult to differentiate from your pet simply not feeling well and the signs or symptoms of poisoning. When in doubt, it is always wise to consult with your veterinary provider to ensure that your pet is not suffering from a toxic reaction to something they ate, which should be caught and treated early. Before you dismiss your pet's lethargy or lack of appetite, consider some of the signs of pet poisoning.

Your dog:

Keep antifreeze far away. Dogs are drawn to antifreeze, and it is among the most lethal substances that you can have on hand. Dogs that have consumed antifreeze may experience increased thirst, but are unable to urinate, so they may try to go to the bathroom more frequently. Antifreeze poisoning leads to kidney failure and is fatal.

Keep them away from chocolate. Most dog owners know that chocolate is not good for their pets, but do you know why? Dark chocolate, especially, contains caffeine which can cause a dog to have an irregular heart rate and even a seizure. In smaller amounts, it is common for vomiting or diarrhea to occur. If you suspect your dog has gotten into your baking chocolate, seek medical attention immediately.

Watch what you feed them. There are many common fruits and veggies that are actually poisonous to your canine pal. Be wary of what you feed them if you do treat them to people food or table scraps and avoid these items:

  • Grapes and raisins can cause irreversible kidney damage in dogs.
  • Garlic and onions can cause an irregular heart rate and lethargy in dogs, which could lead to a collapse.
  • Cherries can lead to respiratory failure for dogs.
  • Certain types of mushrooms are poisonous for dogs and cause seizures, organ failure, and death. Don't risk giving your pet the wrong kind; skip the mushrooms.
  • Raw or unripe potatoes can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. Even eating the skins in the trash can lead to a seizure.

Your cat:

Don't use dog flea medication near or on a cat. Flea treatments intended for dogs will poison a cat, and some symptoms of toxicity include drooling, vomiting, staggering, and sullen behavior.

Watch what they scratch. Cats like to scratch, and they may do this on the walls or woodwork of the home. If these areas have been painted with lead paint, either recently or under layers of newer paint, the cat may suffer delayed signs of gastrointestinal poisoning, such as vomiting and diarrhea.  

Pay attention to plants. There are many common plants that you may have in your home that are very toxic for your cats. Easter lilies, philodendron, and English ivy are a few that can be poisonous to your feline friends, and that can cause kidney failure. This may manifest in excessive thirst and the inability to urinate.

Whether you are a dog-person or a cat-lover, some symptoms merit a trip to the emergency vet, pronto.

  • Seizures, which can be caused by your dog or cat ingesting cleaning products, aspirin, tobacco, or even gasoline.
  • Bloody diarrhea should be evaluated by the vet, as this could mean that your pet has been eating garbage. Dogs with bloody stool may also have consumed chocolate.
  • nosebleed should be immediately assessed by your vet provider, as this could be a sign of your pet ingesting rat poison. These toxic pesticides are often dyed blue, so if your pet's vomit is blue, this could mean they got into rat poison.