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Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's important to know the right steps to take should you suspect your animal has been poisoned.

From: Melanie Hood
It's important to know the right steps to take should you suspect your animal has been poisoned.

Aldicarb (Temik) is the most common poison used. It is an agricultural chemical that falls into the super-toxin class. In appearance it is dark-grey to black granules and has the street name of "Two-step" because of it's effectiveness in animals, they literally take two steps forward before they die.

Firstly, know the signs to look for:
Constricted pupils - even in dark lighting
Slow heart rate
Possible vomiting and/or diarrhoea
Muscle weakness, cramps and tremors
Difficulty in breathing
Increased bronchial secretions,sweating and salivation
Involuntary urination
'Drunken' walking

Clinical signs develop very quickly in malicious poisonings of dogs and treatment must be given as soon as possible. Know where your closest veterinary surgery
is and also the nearest 24 hour veterinary surgery - since most poisonings occur at night. Have their emergency numbers to hand and, if possible, get some one to phone to let them know you are on your way with a suspected poisoning case. Time really is of the essence. Once there, your vet will know exactly what to do.

If you cannot get to a vet and you are convinced that your dog has eaten poison you can take immediate action by inducing vomiting as quickly as you can, by trying one of the following, but do not waste time trying this if there is a veterinarian close by, any unnecessary time delay will lower their chances of survival:
Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with water and offer your dog one to two teaspoons at a time. Vomiting will begin within 5 minutes. If nothing happens in 5 minutes try another teaspoon or two.
Mix as much salt as you can in a small bit of water or milk (50ml), warm water is better. Add salt until you cannot dissolve anymore in the water. Give one to two teaspoons to your dog. You can repeat at 5 minute intervals until you induce vomiting.
Activated charcoal - directions will be on the packet (can be purchased at pharmacies).
Anti-acids and electolyte therapy are also useful.
Washing soap as an absolute last resort may be used. Throw a fist full into the dog's mouth and wait 5 minutes, most dogs vomit well with this, if not then do not try again.

Be conscious of what is happening in your area - if poisonings are being reported, perhaps you should consider:
Moving your dogs to an area of the yard where people cannot throw laced food.
Or, preferably keeping your dogs indoors at night.
Keep yourself up to date with your neighbours - know if something has happened to their dogs.
Feed your dogs at night - this will lessen the likelihood of them from eating poisoned bait.

All poisoning incidents must be reported to the police. 

If you suspect your dog has been poisoned and you require assistance please phone 0778431528 or 0773476009 immediately.

Mel Hood
Animal Welfare Officer 
Veterinarians for Animal Welfare (VAWZ)

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