What to do if your pet ingests a toxin
Decontamination is the most important part of toxin exposure.
“It is important to get rid of the toxin as fast as possible,” says Dr. Tessa Cowser.
It is highly recommended that decontamination is done with the supervision of a veterinarian professional. There is an old-school at-home treatment of giving your pet hydrogen peroxide, but that method isn’t as well thought of anymore.
“Giving your pet hydrogen peroxide is not highly recommended anymore, but if you do decide to use this treatment never give more than two doses. I have seen pets who are suffering from GI irritation because they were given too much hydrogen peroxide,” said Dr. Cowser.
Bringing your animal to a vet or the emergency room when they have been exposed to a toxin enables the doctors to give the proper dose to your pet of a drug called apomorphine, which is much easier on the animal’s system.
The first thing you should do if you suspect your pet has ingested a toxin is to call the ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline (888) 426-4435. They can lead you in the best direction to what your next step should be. There is a charge for their service, but it is cheaper if you call before heading to the vet’s office or ER. In fact, because the dose makes the poison, there is a chance if your animal hasn’t ingested a large amount of toxin they can save you that trip and allow you to monitor your pet from home.
Interested in learning more about pet toxicity? Here is a previous post that takes a deeper dive into the topic.