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Steven_L
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PostSubject: Handling a poisoned animal   Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:13 pm

Your kitten doesn’t greet you when you come home from work one day. Instead, she’s hiding behind the toilet engrossed in a grim task: playing with the remnants of a bottle of spilled Tylenol gelcaps. ****!—you thought you picked up every last one. Meanwhile, an unseen stash was hiding in the corner.

At least five gelcaps have been bitten to shreds. Their contents are oozing on the floor and around kitten's mouth. This can’t be good.

After yesterday’s post, which touched on a tragic loss after accidental rat poison ingestion, it seems appropriate to discuss the right protocol for poisonings. Sure, it’s a different approach for every toxin but there is some common ground for how these situations should be handled. Here’s ten points you need to know:

1-Keep the pet poison control number handy. If you live in the US, the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center is the organization most veterinarians are comfortable with. The center charges $60 per phone call (and it’s well worth it). Keep the number handy or simply bookmark the home page for easy reference.

2-If you suspect poisoning from a specific substance, pick up the remnants of the toxin, the box, the bottle and anything associated with it. Keep this “evidence” handy so you can answer your veterinarian or poison control’s detailed questions.

3-Attempt to ascertain how much of the substance could have been ingested. Think worst-case scenario for safety’s sake.

4-Try to establish a timeframe for when the poison may have been ingested. It makes a difference whether an hour might have lapsed…or an entire weekend. (Sometimes animal-related evidence reveals itself way after the fact. We understand this. Don’t be shy about revealing the extent of your potential inattention. It can happen.)

5-If you’re not sure whether the offending item is poisonous, call a veterinarian you trust—immediately. Alternatively (in the middle of the night, for instance), call the pet poison control center right away. Do NOT rely on advice from friends, family, neighbors or your vet’s reception desk. Though they may know the right answer, it’s always best to get the info first hand from someone who’s trained to address these issues.

6-NEVER induce vomiting or administer home remedies for poisonings without talking to a trained individual first. I’ve seen seizuring pets die from ill-advised milk and oil administration. Caustic compounds can damage sensitive anatomic structures on their way back up. It’s best to let a professional do these things—or at least walk you through them.

7-Sometimes the item isn’t technically a toxin. Think Koosh ball, for example. Or an entire Kong toy. This is not the poison control’s purview any more; it’s your vet’s—or the ER vet’s. Immediate attention in these cases can make the difference between an easy resolution via induced vomiting or a nasty intestinal obstruction several days later.

8-When you’ve determined that the poison your pet ingested requires veterinary attention, my preferred approach—whether it be Tylenol, plants or toilet bowl cleaner—is to open up a file with the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center. You can do this on your way to the hospital (or when you called to determine whether the toxin required medical attention).

(This service costs no more than the $60 phone call. Whether the poison control’s toxicologists need to be in constant contact with your vet for two weeks or tell you your pet will be fine, the fee is the same.)

Poison control will advise your veterinarian as to the best course of treatment: induce vomiting or not, fluids or not, charcoal or not, antidotes, labwork, surgery, etc. I cannot say enough about the value of this service. There’s no better way to treat a poisoning patient than by the poison control’s books, IMO.

Interestingly, this is something not every vet knows about. But YOU can take control of your pet’s care by initiating this clinical interaction. I think it’s especially helpful when sending my patients to the ER. I know they’ll get great care when the poison control’s on the line.

9-Prevention is the final point I need to make. Keeping tablets and capsules and cleaners and creams away from pets is obviously the best way to handle toxicities. But…

10-…you can’t do this properly without the knowledge of what’s toxic and what’s not. Read over the ASPCA’s FAQ's when it comes to pet poisons. Some of the items may surprise you.

Taken from: http://www.dolittler.com/2008/12/20/Top-ten-tips-for-pet-poisonings-and-accidental-ingestions.html

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PostSubject: Re: Handling a poisoned animal   Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:53 am

Warning Symptoms of Dog Poisoning
The severity of poisoning symptoms depends largely on the type of toxin involved and how much of it entered the dog's body. Some toxins have a cumulative effect and take time to build up in a dog's system after repeated exposures. This means the earliest signs of poisoning might go undetected or attributed to a dog feeling "under the weather". In other cases, the reaction could be immediate and violent with the dog presenting obvious signs of distress.

Symptoms of dog poisoning can include any combination of the following:

Loss of appetite: A change in a dog's eating habits is usually the first signal for many illnesses.
Drooling: This is typically a sign of nausea.
Vomiting: This can occur with or without the presence of blood since some toxins such as the rat poison Warfarin produce internal bleeding.
Diarrhea: This can occur with or without bleeding for the same reason listed above.
Rash or irritation at the contact site: This typically occurs when a toxin has entered the bloodstream via the skin.
Lethargy: This can be due to the general ill-effects of the toxin, but it might also be a sign that the toxin is affecting the heart muscle.
Loss of coordination: This symptom is typically an indication that the brain has been affected.
Tremors/seizures: This can be further sign of the brain's involvement with the toxin.
Labored breathing: Slowed heart function can cause a build up of fluid in the lungs that leads to breathing difficulty.
Sensitivity to light: Some poisons can make a dog photo-sensitive.
Onset of organ failure: Kidneys, liver, heart and other organs may begin to shut down as the toxin takes full effect.
Loss of consciousness: This is a fairly severe sign.
Non-responsive behavior: The dog may remain conscious, yet not appear to see or hear anything going on around him.
Coma: This is a most serious sign that could signal death is imminent.
Death: This is the last and final stage of a fatal poisoning.

http://dogs.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Symptoms_of_Dog_Poisoning

One other sign of poisoning that the article does not mention is bleeding from the nose or blood in urine or feces. Rat poison is a blood thinner.
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PostSubject: Re: Handling a poisoned animal   Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:47 am

The ASPCA's Poison Control Centers Website is:
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/

The center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435.

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PostSubject: Re: Handling a poisoned animal   Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Hey good thing this thread was bumped up! Good information too, I was about post some other threads about poisonous plants and 5 most common calls to pet poison helpline. I'll get them up in a sec.

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PostSubject: Re: Handling a poisoned animal   Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:19 pm

tisk tisk on me..i didnt have that number on my quick emergency #'s list. adding it now!
thanks guys! super important stuff to know!
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PostSubject: Re: Handling a poisoned animal   Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:21 pm

schnauzkyLVR wrote:
tisk tisk on me..i didnt have that number on my quick emergency #'s list. adding it now!
thanks guys! super important stuff to know!

Yup, always good to have it handy, after all we'd probably be very nervous and scared to remember to look it up on a phone registry or something. I think I've got two or three numbers on my phone just in case Nervous

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