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  This article is well worth reading.



Before Heading to the Vet
Before going to the vet, it may be necessary to begin treatment at home:

Step 1: Try to Identify the Poison
Bring with you anything your dog has vomited or chewed in a Ziploc bag. This is especially important if you do not know what type of poison was ingested.

Step 2: Induce Vomiting
If your dog is showing signs of poisoning, is alert and conscious, able to swallow and hasn't vomited, induce vomiting immediately. Use 1 tablespoon Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) per 20 lb. body weight squirted into the back of the mouth to induce vomiting.

Do NOT Induce Vomiting if your dog is severely depressed, comatose, unable to swallow or experiencing seizures -- or if you know the poison was caustic (acid or alkali, including household cleaners, drain and toilet cleaners, dishwasher granules, laundry soap, commercial solvents), or a petroleum product (gasoline, kerosene, turpentine). These poisons need to be neutralized because they cause burns of the mouth, esophagus and stomach. These burns often take hours to show up, and inducing vomiting can make the situation worse. If your pet has ingested caustic or petroleum products, get to a vet immediately!

If you cannot get to a vet, administer the following home remedies:

Acid (like bleach): Rinse out your dog's mouth. Give an antacid (baking soda paste, Milk of Magnesia, or Pepto-Bismol) at the rate of 1-2 teaspoons per 5 lbs. body weight.

Alkali: Mix 1 part vinegar or lemon juice with 4 parts water. Milk, egg whites, or vegetable oil can be used to absorb the poison from the intestines.

Petroleum Products: Administer 1-2 oz. mineral oil, olive oil or vegetable oil by mouth. Petroleum-based products can cause pneumonia if aspirated or inhaled. The signs of toxicity are vomiting, difficulty breathing, tremors, convulsions and coma. Artificial respiration or CPR may also be necessary.

Step 3: Delay Absorption of the Poison
After vomiting, crush Activated Charcoal tablets (1-3 grams per 1 kg. body weight) with water into a slurry paste and give orally, followed by more water. (Note: you can buy activated charcoal at most local pharmacies in tablet form.)

Do NOT give Activated Charcoal when an animal has ingested caustic or petroleum products. Instead, take your pet to the vet immediately.

If you do not have activated charcoal, you can try using burnt toast or tortillas. Then, 30 minutes later, give Milk of Magnesia (1 teaspoonful per 5 lbs. body weight). If these items are not available, you can also coat the bowel with milk, egg whites or vegetable oil, and give a warm water enema.

See more at: http://jaltembabaylife.com/pet-poison-information

Reprinted with permission.

Items to avoid


Reasons to avoid 


Alcoholic beverages Can cause intoxication, then to a coma and even death.


The leaves, seeds, fruit, and bark contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Cat food Generally too high in protein and fats.
Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources


Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system. Cooked bones splinter EVEN MORE.
Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine








Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. After eating a large quantity of chocolate, many pet owners assume their pet is unaffected. However, the signs of sickness may not be seen for several hours, with death following within twenty-four hours. Symptoms include Staggering, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, fever, heart rate increase, arrhythmia, seizures, coma, death.
Fat trimmings  Can cause pancreatitis.
Citrus oil extracts


Can cause vomiting. 


Fish (raw, canned or cooked)





 If fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. Contains an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.


Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
Grapes, raisins and currants




As few as a handful of raisins or grapes can make a dog ill.  Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy. Contains an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract. 
Human vitamin supplements containing iron Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Macadamia nuts







Macadamia nuts are another concern, along with most other kinds of nuts. Their high phosphorus content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.


Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
Milk and other dairy products




Some adult dogs may develop diarrhea if given large amounts of dairy products.  Some adult dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.
Moldy or spoiled food, garbage Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.


Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder)










Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient Thiosulphate.  Onions are more of a danger. The poisoning occurs a few days after the pet has eaten the onion. All forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw onions, cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or garlic. Left over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food containing onion, sometimes fed as a supplement to young pets, can cause illness. While garlic also contains the toxic ingredient Thiosulphate, it seems that garlic is less toxic and large amounts would need to be eaten to cause illness.
Pits from peaches and plums  Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
Raw eggs




Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
Raw meat


May contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Rhubarb leaves Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
Salt If eaten in large quantities may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
String Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body."
Sugary foods


Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Table scraps (in large amounts)



Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.



Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.
Yeast dough




Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.


Xylitol - (artificial sweetener)







Can cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can result in vomiting, weakness and collapse. In high doses can cause liver failure. Veterinarians warn that a commonly used sweetener might cause liver failure in dogs, and perhaps even kill them. Researchers said for dogs, ingesting even a small amount of Xylitol, found in many sugar-free foods, can trigger significant insulin release, which drops their blood sugar and can be fatal.

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Symptoms of possible poisoning are: vomiting, diarrhea, difficult breathing, abnormal urine (color, aroma or odor, frequency, etc.), salivation, weakness. If your dog should ingest harmful chemicals, contact a veterinarian or poison control center immediately.

                               POISON HOTLINES FOR PETS

Kansas State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital is offering a FREE poison control hotline for pet owners and veterinarians (Monday-Friday 8-5pm). 785-532-5679 is the number and the service has been available since 1969.   Dr. Oehme, a vet and professor in toxicology and pathology oversees the hotline. Dr. Oehme offers these suggestions:

Be patient. The person answering the phone may have to take a few minutes to consult the vet on duty.  Call as soon as possible. Immediate attention might save your animal. But waiting to see if there is a reaction could cost your animal their life.  Have any product labels available for answers. The vet might need to know milligrams and generic names.  Know that the toxicologists are also taking calls from vets about other animals and other problems, including those problems with large animals.

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Poison Guide

Searchable Toxicology Database


This Texas A & M webpage contains a reference chart of poisonous plants and plant parts and related symptoms if ingested

Poisonous Plants

Pet Poison Helpline is a 24-hour animal poison control service available throughout the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet. We have the ability to help every poisoned pet, with all types of poisonings, 24 hours a day. Our knowledge and expertise of pet poisons will put your mind at ease when dealing with a potential emergency.   In order to provide this critical service, please be advised that there is a $35 per incident fee, payable by credit card. This fee covers the initial consultation as well as all follow-up calls associated with the management of the case.  Call (800) 213-6680

Animal Poison Control Center ~ (888) 426-4435 $65.00 Consult Fee.


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More Frequently Asked Questions

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