As soon as you realize your dog has consumed a substance that is toxic to canines, call your veterinarian for instructions. Your pet's doctor will need to know what your dog ingested and how long ago. Most veterinary hospitals have a safe medication to induce vomiting, called apomorphine. This drug can be either administered in the eye or given as an injection. Apomorphine poses no risk to the lining of the digestive tract. In certain emergencies or at times when an animal hospital is too far away, your veterinarian may instruct you to induce vomiting with household hydrogen peroxide to expel the toxin.
Inducing a dog to vomit
Household 3 percent hydrogen peroxide is an irritant to the gastrointestinal tract that usually results in vomiting when ingested by a canine. Vomiting expels toxic matter from your dog's stomach before it reaches the intestines and is absorbed into their system, potentially causing great harm.
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For some pet owners, making your dog throw up might remind you of ipecac, or syrup of ipecac. That's because it was once commonly used in humans for inducing vomiting. Ipecac was used because it irritated the stomach lining. But now, effective products with fewer potential side effects are being used.
Hydrogen peroxide contraindications for dogs
Always get your veterinarian's approval before inducing vomiting. In some cases, you should not try to make your dog vomit with hydrogen peroxide. If your pup is already vomiting, this therapy will make their vomiting become violent. When your dog is weak, unconscious, or has trouble standing, they can inhale vomit into their lungs and develop aspiration pneumonia. Brachycephalic breeds, like pugs and bulldogs, are more likely to develop aspiration pneumonia.
When your canine companion swallows drain cleaner, bleach, or a petroleum product, the corrosive chemicals cause damage as they go down and will burn again as they come up, causing greater distress in the stomach, throat, and mouth.
Two hours after your dog ingests a toxic substance, it is too late to induce vomiting because the substance is in their small intestine and will not be expelled via vomiting. If you discover the poisoning two hours after ingestion, call your veterinarian for an emergency appointment. A pet poison helpline, like the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435), can also provide you with more information.
Foods that are canine toxic substances
Many human foods are toxic to dogs. Among them is the avocado, which causes mild to severe stomach upset. However, the avocado pit is even more dangerous because it can cause an intestinal obstruction. Bread dough can expand in the stomach, resulting in labored breathing, distended abdomen, lack of coordination, and alcohol intoxication.
Chocolate can cause vomiting, stomachache, restlessness, muscle tremors, elevated temperature, seizures, and death. Any type of alcohol can cause lack of coordination; stupor; disorientation; and in severe cases, coma, seizures, and death.
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, and moldy foods can cause muscle tremors and convulsions. Raw onions and garlic damage red blood cells in canines. The no-calorie sweetener in sugar-free products called xylitol causes a rapid drop in a dog's blood sugar levels, which can cause seizures.
Common household dangers for dogs
Outdoor household items that are toxic to dogs include lawn chemicals, such as fertilizers, and cocoa mulch. Antifreeze containing ethylene glycol is a deadly toxin that tastes sweet to dogs and cats. Rat poison is highly toxic to dogs, as are rats that have consumed the poison.
Medications and household chemicals need to be out of reach of your dog. If they consume human medications, flea and tick medicine, human pills, cleaning supplies, and corrosive substances, they can suffer the effects of toxicity.
Sharp objects are also a concern. If your pup ate something sharp, don't make them vomit without talking to your veterinarian.
Dosage and administration for dogs
To administer hydrogen peroxide, you need to know your dog's weight. Dosage for inducing a dog to vomit is 1 teaspoon for each 10 pounds of body weight. Mixing a small amount of vanilla ice cream or a bit of honey with it may entice your pet to lap it up. Otherwise, put the hydrogen peroxide in a large bulb syringe or turkey baster. Then, open your dog's mouth, insert the syringe or baster near the rear of their mouth, and squeeze the bulb slowly.
You need to do this slowly so the hydrogen peroxide goes down your dog's esophagus and not their airway. Walking your dog will help the hydrogen peroxide to work; vomiting should occur within 15 minutes. If it does not, administer a second dose. If your pet still does not vomit, take them to your veterinarian immediately for further treatment.
The bottom line
There are many foods that dog owners need to be aware of because they are canine toxic substances. If your dog eats avocado, grapes, or gum containing the sweetener xylitol, your veterinarian may have you bring in your pet to induce vomiting with a drug called apomorphine. This is administered within the first two hours of ingestion. How much you give depends on your dog's body weight. Even though it's not enjoyable to make a dog throw up, in certain emergencies or when an animal hospital is too far away, your veterinarian may have you use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting.