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Pet Health Tip: What to Do If Your Pet Ingests Something Toxic

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Our pets are curious by nature, and we love that about them. But sometimes their adventurous spirits can get them into trouble. If your pet ingests something poisonous to them, your mantra should be, “Pet to the Vet.” Please call us right away at 908-777-VETS and, if necessary, bring your pet to our Union location for emergency service. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to ensure the safety and longevity of your pet when they ingest a toxic substance.

Common Pet Poisons

The third week of March is National Poison Prevention Week, so now’s the time to learn what household items are common pet poisons. Keep these and other hazards out of your pets’ reach:

  • Human medications (OTC and prescription)
  • Chocolate
  • Marijuana plants or edibles
  • Rodenticides and pesticides
  • Lawn and garden fertilizers, cocoa mulch
  • Antifreeze
  • Household cleaners
  • Xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in some peanut butter, sugar-free gum, and many household items)
  • Yeasted bread dough
  • Essential oils and potpourri
  • Grapes, raisins, onions, garlic
  • Houseplants such as lilies, poinsettias, hyacinth, azaleas

What to Do If Your Pet Ingests Something Toxic

Poisons act fast, so if you feel your pet has ingested something potentially toxic, you should act fast, too. Give us a call right away at 908-777-VETS – don’t spend time on the internet trying to figure things out or leave a voicemail for your veterinarian. If it’s after hours, seek emergency care immediately.

If you can, bring any packaging or ingredient information with you when you come to the emergency clinic. This helps our veterinarians to work even more quickly to determine the best course of action. In most cases, we will also call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline. This extra precaution gives pet parents a case number to reference and gives our team access to board-certified toxicologists who can provide us with specialized treatment recommendations.*

Pet poisoning signs can be subtle at first, and may not even show up for several days after your pet ingests something toxic. Signs that your pet may experience include:

  • Drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Pale gums
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Weakness/ataxia
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle tremors
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Collapse

We’re always here to help if you have questions about pet poisoning or whether or not it’s an emergency. Please call us with any questions or concerns.

*A consultation fee may apply, but if your pet has a Home Again microchip (the brand we use at WVG), the fee is waived.

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