Toxcities in Pets
By nature, dogs and cats are scavengers. If permitted, they will eat decaying or rotten materials, garbage, feces, or even drink contaminated water. In addition to harmful bacteria and toxic agents, these materials may also contain glass, plastic or other foreign bodies that could obstruct or perforate the gastrointestinal tract. Contaminated water may even contain antifreeze or parasites that can be very harmful, or even fatal, to a pet.
Some signs a pet may exhibit when affected by these foul objects are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or anorexia. Signs exhibited may depend upon the ingested toxin. While most toxicity can be successfully treated, death may occur in more severe cases. If a pet is exhibiting any of these or other signs that something may be wrong, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.
Should a pet need treatment for toxicity, it is important for the pet owner to know what was ingested, the amount, and the time the toxin was ingested as these will all play vital roles in how the veterinarian will proceed. Once discharged and allowed to go home, a pet owner should follow all of the veterinarian’s instructions including those regarding food and water administration, medication, exercise restriction and follow up visits. A veterinarian should be notified immediately should the pet’s signs recur after discharge or any new signs, for example seizures or muscle tremors, develop.