How to Tell If Your Dog Has Been Poisoned

How to Tell If Your Dog Has Been Poisoned

Whether it’s the crazy neighbor who hates your dog, the rat poison under your garage, or the poinsettias you left out for Christmas, dogs are at a relatively high risk of poisoning because of their tendency to put everything in their mouths. If your dog has been poisoned, knowing the specific symptoms your dog is having as well as what she might have been exposed to can help your vet to more effectively treat your dog. Here’s everything you need to know if you think your dog may have been poisoned.

Symptoms of Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms of poisoning vary depending upon the poison your dog has consumed, what else your dog has eaten, and your dog’s overall health. Many of these symptoms can be results of other illnesses or just random chance, but if several of these symptoms come on suddenly, or occur after your dog has disappeared or eaten something unfamiliar, it may be a sign of poisoning.

Common symptoms of poisoning can include:

  • swollen mouth, gums, or throat, or general mouth irritation
  • vomiting and diarrhea, especially if severe or if bloody
  • heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
  • dilated pupils
  • bleeding from any part of the body
  • seizures, muscle tremors, or shaking
  • painful urination or defecation
  • restlessness, pacing, or abnormal behavior like aggression, lethargy, or listlessness
  • weakness
  • swollen abdomen
  • any abnormal behavior or symptom that your dog has not exhibited before

Getting Treatment After Your Dog Has Been Poisoned

If you even suspect that your dog has been poisoned, do not try to treat it yourself. Go straight to your vet, or to an emergency clinic if it is after hours. Most treatment will center around treating symptoms rather than the specific poison your dog has ingested. However, if your dog is severely ill, knowing what your dog has eaten can make the difference between life and death. Though you shouldn’t delay in getting to your vet, do a quick run through your house to determine if anything is out of place or looks like it’s been chewed on.

You should also be prepared to carefully detail your dog’s symptoms, how long the symptoms have been occurring, and your dog’s activities and whereabouts for the last 24 hours or so to your vet. Knowing these things can help your vet deduce what your dog might have eaten. Further, if someone deliberately poisoned your dog, knowing symptoms and location of your dog can help you to track them down.

Poisoning can be frightening, but careful monitoring of your dog in conjunction with immediate veterinary care can make all the difference. Do not delay in getting your dog treatment!

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