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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Poison in Puggles?!

Many people don't understand how many common household items might be dangerous to their pets. Alcohol, some decorative palm plants, holiday decorations like mistletoe, and even vitamins can be potentially fatal to our four-legged family members! Even more dangerous are many cleaning products, weed-killers, and "rodenticides" (commonly known as rat poison).

If your puggle ingests any of these potentially fatal household items, or any time they exhibit a complete and immediate loss of bowel control (which might suggest an unseen poisoning), you can induce vomiting safely with a small dose of everyday Hydrogen Peroxide (commonly kept in first aid kits).*

Hydrogen Peroxide (3% solution) can be found at your local drugstore and is the safest way to induce vomiting at home. This is the first step to help remove potentially harmful substances from your puggle's stomach. While ipecac is often used to induce vomiting in both adults and children, this is not a reliable way of getting a pet to vomit. Other suggestions such as salt or mustard are not only unreliable, but can be potentially harmful. These common "remedies" can have very harmful side-effects like sodium poisoning, and they can even cause cardiac arrhythmias!

Hydrogen Peroxide, on the other hand, is typically quite successful in causing pets to vomit, and is completely safe for your puggle (after it's done fizzing in your pet's stomach, it breaks down into its parts - water and oxygen!). It usually takes about 10-15 minutes before your puggle will vomit after drinking Hydrogen Peroxide. It also makes it easier if you feed it a little bit of moistened bread (either with milk or water).

Make sure that you give your puggle the right dose of Hydrogen Peroxide - a standard is 1 mL per pound, (here's a conversion chart, since we don't all have test tubes in our kitchens!). Also be sure never to force ANY liquid down into your puggle's mouth - they might accidentally inhale (or aspirate) it, which can lead to serious complications, including pneumonia.

*You should always contact your local or emergency vet before taking any action toward treating your pet medically. Some ingested chemicals can cause more damage if they are regurgitated, so only induce vomiting if your vet gives you the go-ahead.