There are are a few things that can be done at home to prevent absorption right before heading to the emergency vet.
A common method that many vets recommend is to induce vomiting prior to having the pet seen. Induction of vomit may help the dog remove the potentially harmful object or toxin ingested or at least limit its absorption.
In order to be effective the induction of vomit must take place at least WITHIN 2 HOURS from when the suspected harmful toxin has been ingested. If more than 2 hours have passed the toxin or object has already left the stomach and is already being absorbed or forwarded to the intestinal tract.
It is very important to realize that the induction of vomit may be harmful or even fatal when some particular toxins are ingested. If you are unsure about the composition of the toxin, do not attempt anything at home, consult with your vet!
When not to Induce Vomiting
When your Dog ingested:
- An acid based chemical
- An alkali based chemical
- A caustic like bleach or drain cleaner
- A household cleaning solution
- A household chemical
- A petroleum product such as gasoline, turpentine, kerosene
- A sharp object
- A product whose bottle clearly states do not induce vomiting
These are toxins that potentially may burn the esophagus on the way up or they are objects that may injure tissues severely when brought up.
According to the Doctor’s Book for Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats, ”If he got into something alkaline -like drain cleaner- give him about three teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice diluted in an equal amount of water, suggests Dr. Bailey. Again, draw the liquid into a syringe or baster and squirt toward the back of the mouth. This will help neutralize the harmful effects of the chemical in his belly, cooling the burn. If he got into an acid-by chewing a battery, for example, or drinking bleach-”Milk of Magnesia” will negate the acid” says Dr. Bailey. Give one teaspoon for every five pounds of pet, he advises.
Also do not induce vomiting when:
- your dog has vomited already
- your dog is unconscious
- your dog has labored breathing
- your dog is exhibiting nervous system disorders or is seizuring
Should your dog exhibit any of the above do not induce vomiting but rather rush him/her to the emergency vet.
Common Example Scenarios Where Induction of Vomiting is Helpful:
- Your dog ingested rodenticide poison. Immediate induction of vomiting is important upon witnessing such consumption. Your dog wil still need immediate veterinary treatment since these poisons cause blood clotting disorders. Bring along the rodenticide product.
- Your dog ingested chocolate. The worse chocolate is baker’s chocolate followed by milk chocolate. As little as 4 ounces of baker’s chocolate can prove fatal to a 5 -10pound dog. Call your vet after inducing vomit with your dog’s weight, type of chocolate and quantity ingested for follow up instructions.
- Your dog ingested antifreeze. Antifreeze is often ingested because it has an attractive sweet taste and drops may be easily found under the car. Inducing vomiting followed by charcoal administration in this case will delay and reduce absorption however, a vet must be seen at once to prevent kidney failure.
- Your dog ate some of your prescription pills. People’s medicines can be very toxic to pets. Even common over the counter pain killers like Tylenol or Advil can prove fatal in dogs. Induce vomiting should your dog have ingeasted pills as described below. Make sure the dog brings up the pills, follow up with the vet to seek further treatment such as administering fluids or antidotes.
How to Induce Vomiting:
You Will Need:
- Hydrogen Peroxide 3% -do not use any other type
- 1 teaspoon
- A watch
- Paper towels
Strictly only use hydrogen peroxide 3%. You will need to administer one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide (5 ml) per 10 pounds of body weight.
You may repeat this dose for a maximum of two times. Therefore, administer the hydrogen peroxide dosage once and then wait 15-20 minutes. Walking your dog around may help to expedite the process.
If the dog vomits well, if not repeat again. If still does not vomit after another 10 minutes bring your pet and the chemical bottle or other toxin to the vet at once as the vet may have more effective products to induce vomiting. Time is of the essence!
How to prevent/delay poison absorption after having induced vomiting
You can purchase some activated charcoal and administer it after the dog vomits up the toxin. The dosage of compressed activated charcoal is one 5 gram tablet per 10 pounds of weight. Sometimes simply burning some bread in the toaster until black and carbon like may be used as a substitute. Special products featured below such as Toxiban may be helpful to keep on hand for such emergencies.
According to the Dog Owner’s VeterinaryHandbook, as an alternative, in less severe cases, you can try to coat the stomach by giving some milk and egg whites. For a 10 pound dog use about 1/4 cup egg whites and 1/4 cup milk and use a syringe without needle to feed slowly in the dog’s cheek pouch.
***Always contact your vet or have your dog immediately seen by your vet regardless of the fact he/she has vomited or not. Many toxins need further flushed out of the system and the dog may need emergency supportive care before complications such as seizures may arise. Provide the vet with details about the poison ingested always bring along the packaging so the active ingredients can be identified. In some cases, a sample of the material vomited may be very helpful for the vet.
Always keep the poison control number handy. The ASPCA’S Poison Control center’s phone number is 888-426-4435 or try Angell Animal poison control hotline at 877-226-4355 or PROSAR international animal poison control at 888-232-8870. Please keep in mind that there is usually a credit card charge around 50 to 60 dollars for the consultation.
Dog owner’s home veterinary handbook Debra Eldredge DVM, Liisa Carlson DVM, Delbert G. Carlson D.V.M and James M. Giffin M.D Wiley Publishing, INC
The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies For Dogs and Cats, Rodale Press, Inc 1996.
*DISCLAIMER: This article must not be used as a substitute for veterinary care nor should it be used as a diagnostic tool. Always consult a vet should you believe your dog has been in contact with toxins or poisons, a delay in doing so can turn potentially dangerous or even fatal. Always keep handy the Poison control phone numbers to refer to during such emergencies.