Dog Poisoning First Aid – How to Treat a Poisoned Dog?

Dog Poisoning First Aid

If you have identified symptoms of poisoning in your dog and you have started giving him first aid but you are not sure what could have caused this intoxication, here at Sparkypup we explain how to treat a poisoned dog! In this detailed article we will explain the symptoms of intoxications and possible treatments.

At first we would like to remind you of the great importance of bringing your best friend to the vet because even if you have the best reflexes in the world in terms of First Aid, a specialist will have to perform a full check-up of your best friend in order to ensure his state of Health.

If you are responsible for one or more dogs, we are sure that this article will interest you as we will explain how to react in order to save the life of your most faithful friend. In this article How to treat a poisoned dog we will give you all the necessary information on the various treatments available to fight against poisoning as well as some tips on how to administer the treatments.

How To Treat Food Poisoning In Dogs According To The Cause Of The Poisoning

Dog Poisoning First Aid

Now we will talk about a series of treatments and first aid for the most common causes of poisoning in dogs. You will only be able to carry out these treatments if your veterinarian corroborates them or if you have no other choice. Do not forget that if your dog’s life depends on it, it is better that these treatments are carried out by a veterinarian than by US.

Human drugs: most human drugs are toxic to dogs. It is generally believed that our dog will not touch what it should not or that it will not be able to reach certain places where we keep our medicines. However, they can poison themselves by ingesting these substances, or they may be given medication that they think will help them fight a virus. You should never administer human medicines to our dog, because most of these drugs are not made to be tolerated by our pets, even if they are given the lowest dose indicated.

You should never give your dog any medication without first consulting your veterinarian. If for an unfortunate circumstance contest your dog has ingested human drugs, you will have to make him vomit immediately and call your veterinarian right away.

Here is the list of the most common medicines for us but which most offend the health of our pets and which can even cause them death :

Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin): an analgesic and antipyretic that is used without thinking about any small headache but that proves to be very harmful in dogs, indeed, the administration of aspirin causes in dogs vomiting (with blood), hyperthermia, an acceleration of breathing and even death.
Paracetamol: it is an anti-inflammatory and antipyretic that is widely used by people but is dangerous for our pets. Paracetamol destroys their liver, darkens their gums, produces hyper-salivation, accelerates their breathing, darkens their urine, and can lead to death.
Vitamin A: Many people have vitamins at home that they take to avoid catching a cold or other things. Among these vitamins is vitamin A. We also find this vitamin in some food supplements and in foods like raw liver, which we sometimes like to give to our pets. The hypervitaminosis produced by this vitamin gives a series of serious symptoms in our domestic animals such as: drowsiness, anorexia, stiffness in the neck and joints, constipation, weight loss, as well as some strange positions such as sitting on the back legs but lifting the front legs or lying down but leaving all the weight on the limbs without being able to rest.

Vitamin D: vitamin D is also found in vitamin complexes, rodenticides and some foods. Hypervitaminosis d causes anorexia, depression, vomiting, diarrhoea, polydipsia (extreme thirst) and polyuria (urination is very common and abundant). This is due to kidney damage and bleeding in the digestive and respiratory system.

Arsenic: arsenic is an active ingredient in many insecticides, pesticides and some poisons. The most common symptoms are acute diarrhea (sometimes with blood), weak pulse, general weakness, depression and cardiovascular collapse. This is due to the acute inflammation that causes arsenic in many internal organs such as the liver and kidneys. In this case, if the poison was ingested less than two hours ago, it should be vomited as soon as possible and given immediately after activated charcoal, after one or two hours it should then be given gastric protectors such as pectin or kaolin.

Cyanide: this substance is found mainly in plants, in some venoms and Fertilizers. When our dog is suffering from cyanide poisoning it is usually because he ingested plants that are composed of cyanide such as Reed, Apple leaves, corn, flax, sorghum and eucalyptus. One of the most common ways they suffer from cyanide poisoning is when they eat a rodent that has been killed by ingestion of a rat poison. The symptoms appear after 10 to 15 minutes after ingestion and you can observe an increase in its excitability which will quickly turn into respiratory problems which unfortunately end in asphyxiation. Treatment by the veterinarian is the immediate administration of sodium nitrite.

Ethylene glycol(Antifreeze): used as an antifreeze in the cooling circuits of internal combustion engines and is commonly referred to as automotive antifreeze. The taste of this compound is sweet, which attracts many domestic animals, especially dogs that do not hesitate a second before eating it. The symptoms are fairly rapid after ingestion and can give us the impression that our dog is drunk. Symptoms include vomiting, neurological signs, stupor, loss of balance and ataxia (difficulty coordinating due to neurological problems). What you should do in this case is to induce vomiting and give activated charcoal followed by sodium sulphate one to two hours after ingesting the poison.

Shampoo, soap or laundry: intoxication caused by the ingestion of these substances causes a series of symptoms that are easier to treat. Many of these products may contain caustic soda as well as other corrosive substances, so if Your has ingested any of these three substances, it should never cause vomiting.

Symptoms include dizziness, excessive salivation, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea. If too much has been swallowed, the situation gets worse and seizures, shock and coma can occur. If he has not ingested a large quantity and the veterinarian does not tell us otherwise, a good way to help the body of our poisoned companion fight against these toxins is to give him milk, water or a mixture of both, because these two substances will mix with the toxic product thus avoiding too serious injuries. The softeners are highly toxic, if your dog ingests them, you will need to call the emergency room as soon as possible and take action as soon as possible.

Chlorine, bleach: the vast majority of cleaning products we have at home contain bleach as well as chlorine. Many of our pets like to bite the bottles of these products, drink the water we just made the floor with or that of the pool… The first symptoms that will appear are dizziness, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia and depression. As a first aid, you will need to give your dog milk or milk with water using a syringe (letting it swallow itself).

The milk will mix with chlorine avoiding so that your pet no longer suffers from problems. You should never cause him to vomit because in any case he will vomit due to intoxication and cause him to vomit more will only weaken him even more while damaging his digestive tract because bleach, chlorine and stomach acids are extremely corrosive. In this case, activated carbon should not be administered because it will not help.

In cases where the poisoning is not done by ingestion but by skin, you will have to bathe your best friend with a dog shampoo, ideally you would use a puppy shampoo and wash it thoroughly in order to eliminate the poison from his skin. After giving him a bath, you will need to take him to the vet to make sure that your dog is healthy and that your specialist gives you advice on how to proceed.

Fluorine: is found particularly in oral hygiene products for humans, poison for rats and environmental acaricides. Since fluoride is toxic to dogs and cats, you should never use your toothpaste to clean their teeth. In fact, there are special toothpastes for them that do not contain fluorine.

Symptoms related to the ingestion of fluorine are: nervousness, gastroenteritis, increase in heart rate, and depending on the level of poisoning, death. In cases of severe poisoning, calcium gluconate, magnesium hydroxide or oral milk should be administered immediately to the animal to bind to fluoride ions.

Coal pitch: this toxic substance is composed of various products such as cresols, creosote, phenols and pitch. These substances are found in household products and many others. This type of intoxication causes stimulation of the nervous system, weakening of the heart and liver damage.

The symptoms most easily noticed are: great weakness, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes due to increased bilirubin), loss of coordination, excessive lying down and even coma and depending on the degree of poisoning, death.

How To Treat Food Poisoning In Dogs According To The Cause Of The Poisoning

Insecticides: includes products that contain chlorinated hydrocarbon components, permethrins or pyrethroids, carbamates and organophosphates, all toxic to our pets. For these cases the symptoms you will be able to observe are: frequent urination, excessive salivation, colic, ataxia, respiratory difficulties and convulsions. First aid measures to be taken are : the initiation of vomiting with 3% oxygenated water followed by the administration of activated charcoal. In any case, it is best to always call your veterinarian to administer the specific antidote for the type of active ingredient found in the insecticide that caused the poisoning.

Cantharides and other insects: the cantharide is an insect called Lytta vesicatoria, also known as the Spanish Fly, which is metallic green in colour. This insect contains a toxic chemical component also called catharide. It is able to expel an irritating substance that causes vesicles on the skin and mucous membranes. It is known that small amounts, such as 4 and 6 gr, are toxic to cats, in fact, for a medium-sized dog, a larger amount will be necessary in order to cause intoxication.

Symptoms of poisoning include depression, abdominal pain, blackening of the mucous membranes, anorexia, and irritation of the gastrointestinal and urinary tract. There is no specific treatment but if we detect intoxication quickly, activated carbon can help. The perfect dose to administer to you will be told in one of the following paragraphs. We need to know that in our dogs, there are more insects that can cause intoxications and allergies.

Alcohol: for cases of alcohol poisoning, the most common cases are ethanol (alcoholic beverages, disinfectant, paste in fermentation and elixirs), methanol (household products such as window wash) and isopropyl alcohol (disinfectant alcohol and spray antiseptic based on alcohol for pets). The toxic dose to dogs is around 4 and 8 ml / kg of the affected animal. Isopropyl alcohol is twice as toxic as ethanol. Poisoning in our pets in this way is done more frequently by the dermal route than by ingestion.

Symptoms appear after 1/2 to 1 hour after intoxication. The symptoms that can be observed are : diarrhea, tremors, loss of coordination, vomiting, disorientation, respiratory difficulties and in the worst cases due to this respiratory insufficiency the death of the animal. As first aid, we will need to ensure ventilation, then we will need to move the intoxicated dog to an outdoor location without direct exposure to the sun. And if the ingestion of alcohol is recent, your pet may vomit. You don’t have to give your dog activated charcoal, because it won’t have any effect. You will then need to call your veterinarian as a matter of urgency to ensure that your pet is healthy.

Mothballs: if swallowed, these small mothballs are more than toxic to our pets. The substances contained in these small balls seriously affect the liver and the central nervous system. The symptoms that appear are convulsions and vomiting. Since your dog will be dying, it won’t do any good to make him vomit and you’ll have to call the emergency room as soon as possible.

Treating Food Or Plant Poisoning :

In the continuation of our new article How to treat a poisoned dog we will give you a list of foods that we usually eat and that are toxic to our hairy friends :

Chocolate: chocolate contains a chemical belonging to the methylxanthines called theobromine. In humans, this substance does not cause injury because we have the enzymes necessary to metabolize it and convert it into safer substances. But neither dogs nor cats possess these enzymes, thus converting chocolate into a powerful poison. However, it is a food that we love so much that we may want to share it with our best friends, but this is a big mistake. We need to know that pet shops and veterinary clinics sell very sweet treats for our fur animals, which are substitutes for chocolate but do not contain theobromine.

The more cocoa the chocolate contains, the more theobromine it contains and the more poison our dog will get. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning appear 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. The main symptoms and signs are vomiting, salivation, insatiable thirst, diarrhea, anxiety and swollen belly. After a short time, the symptoms change and appear : hyperactivity, frequent urination, bradycardia, tachycardia, shortness of breath, tremor, heart failure and respiratory failure. As soon as you realize that your dog has eaten chocolate, you will have to make him vomit and then give him activated charcoal orally. If your dog ate chocolate more than two hours ago, it won’t do any good to make him vomit because he’s already digested it. You will need to bring your dog directly to the veterinary emergency room for a specialist to examine and treat it.

Raisins and grapes: both raisins and raisins are toxic to dogs and can be fatal if eaten in large quantities. It is known that in dogs the toxic dose is 32 grams of raisins for every kg and 11 to 30 mg per kg for grapes. The poisoning caused by these gruits develops acute renal failure which can lead to death. The symptoms are vomiting, extreme thirst, dehydration, diarrhea, weakness, lethargy, inability to produce urine and eventually kidney failure. If you suspect your dog has eaten raisins or raisins (especially if it is a large amount), you should call your veterinarian as soon as possible and make your dog vomit as soon as possible. Once you bring him to the vet, (in addition to other things), the specialist will cause him to urinate with intravenous therapy.

Forest mushrooms: you need to know what mushroom your dog has ingested so that you are sure it is toxic or not. There are countless mushrooms and many of them are highly toxic to our hairy friends. One of the fungi that poison our dogs most is Amanita phalloides, which is very dangerous. The symptoms they cause are vomiting, mild diarrhea, digestive problems, neurological disorders and liver problems. As soon as we see our dog eating a fungus poisonous to him, you’re gonna have to make him vomit and give him directly activated charcoal.

Onion: onion contains a toxic substance called thiosulphate. Dogs that poison themselves with onion are those that usually eat it or those that have ingested a large amount of it all at once. This poisoning produces what is called hemolytic anemia which is a dangerous condition as the dog loses blood cells due to vomiting and diarrhea. For this reason, if you see blood in the stool or vomit of your dog that has just ingested a high dose of onion, you will need to bring it quickly to your veterinarian so that he can test it and prescribe the proper treatment.

Garlic: garlic contains the same toxin as onions, it contains thiosulphate. However, it is advisable to use a little garlic in very small amounts from time to time as a natural repellent against fleas. In all cases, we must be very careful and in case of detection of the symptoms that we have just explained (either by garlic or onion) we will have to act in the way we have explained previously.

Plants: there are many plants that are toxic to our dogs (in addition to the one mentioned above that contain cyanide). The symptoms are extremely variable as they will depend on the plant that has been ingested and the amount. The symptoms that usually appear are : vomiting and central nervous system problems. Depending on the plant, its toxicity and the amount ingested by our pet, it is possible that our dog will go into a coma or die…

Here is a list of the most common plants that produce poisoning in our dogs:

  • tomato,
  • spinach,
  • Azalea,
  • autumn saffron,
  • avocado and its leaves,
  • Oleander,
  • actea,
  • dulcamara,
  • Belladona,
  • hemlock and its aquatic version,
  • Yew,
  • flax of the valleys,
  • Lily,
  • ricin,
  • philodendron,
  • daffodils,
  • Ivy,
  • rhubarb,
  • poinsettia,
  • mistletoe,
  • holly berries,
  • Alfalfa,
  • Aloe vera (ingested),
  • amaryllis,
  • apple seeds,
  • apricot,
  • Fern asparagus,
  • saffron crocus,
  • bird of paradise,
  • caladium,
  • water lily,
  • ceriman,
  • cherry (seeds and leaves),
  • black cohosh,
  • cineraria,
  • clematite,
  • cordatum,
  • corn,
  • croton,
  • Laurel,
  • cyclamen,
  • dieffenbachia,
  • dracaena,
  • Dragonfly,
  • elephant ears,
  • Emerald Fern,
  • geranium,
  • geranium,
  • Indian Hevea,
  • kalanchoe,
  • Lily,
  • marijuana,
  • mistletoe,
  • campanule,
  • nephytis,
  • nephytis,
  • solano,
  • onion,
  • peach,
  • Cactus,
  • feathered Fern,
  • Easter flower,
  • poison oak,
  • potato plant,
  • Primrose,
  • rhododendron,
  • Swiss cheese plant (type philodendron),
  • pleurous fig,
  • wisteria.

Advice On Doses And How To Administer Treatment

In the paragraph of this article How to treat a poison dog we will give you advice on how to administer the products mentioned in the previous paragraphs :

The most effective way for our dog to swallow an oral solution is to insert the syringe on the side, that is between the teeth and the cheek of the dog so that it is more difficult for him to expel the liquid that we want to administer and so that it is easier for him to swallow it without realizing. It is best to give him 1 ml and wait until he swallows it before giving him the second ml.

Make the dog vomit: you will have to buy a 3% oxygenated water solution from a pharmacy or prepare it at home and use a child syringe to give him the solution orally. We should never use solutions that have a concentration higher than 3% of oxygenated water because we would only be able to do harm to our animal. To prepare the solution and administer it properly you should know that the dose of 3% oxygenated water is 5 ml (1 small spoon) for 2.25 kg, in addition, this solution should always be administered orally. Give the dose every 10 minutes for up to 3 doses. If we can administer this solution directly after poisoning we will use 2 to 4 ml of this 3% oxygen solution per kg body weight. You can also cause vomiting with salt water or a little mustard.

Activated carbon: the normal dose is 1 g dry powder per 1/2 kg body weight. You will have to dissolve the activated charcoal powder in very little water to form a kind of thick paste, to administer it you will have to use a syringe. This dose should be repeated every 2/ hours for a total of 4 doses. If severe poisoning occurs, the dose is increased from 2 to 8 grams per kilogram and administered orally or with a stomach tube. Activated Carbon is sold as a liquid that has already been diluted with water, as a powder or as a pellet that we can dilute ourselves at home.

Milk or mixture of milk and water: we can give it milk alone or 50% water and milk when we want them to gang up against certain venoms, for example with fluorine. This technique helps to make the passage through the body less harmful. The appropriate dose is 10 to 15 ml per kg body weight or whatever the intoxicated dog is able to consume.

Pectin or kaolin: to be administered by the veterinarian. The recommended dose is 1 to 2 g per kg of body weight every 6 hours for 5 to 7 days.

Sodium Nitrite: to be administered by the veterinarian. 10 g should be administered in 100 ml of distilled water or saline isotonic solution at a dose of 20 mg per kg body weight of the cyanide-infected animal.

This article is purely informative, here on Sparkypup we do not have the competence to prescribe veterinary treatments or to carry out any diagnosis. We invite you to bring your pet to the vet if it presents the symptoms of febrile illness or disease.

If you want to read more similar articles on how to treat a poisoned dog, we recommend that you consult the first aid section.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Toni Pirner

    Dear Sparkypup, my dog ate poison yesterday. I was in a state of emergency and I did not find the clear instructions I needed on your site. On second look, the instructions here are clear (I cannot say if they are accurate as I am not an expert on the subject). However I would suggest that HOW and WHEN to induce vomiting should be placed first before the list of specific substances. It should be BOLD and LARGE emergency instructions. My dog is already much better, thanks to alot of salt, a garden hose, and a rush to the emergency vet. Thank you. Best regards, Toni Pirner


      Thank you for the suggestion Toni, we will surely make some changes to the post in order to make it more helpful for our readers. We are happy that your dog is better now and we hope it will recover fully and everything will be fine.

      Wishing you all the best with steady health, happiness and success in everything you do.

      Best Regards,
      The Team.

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