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At Paws & Claws Pet Medical Center, our veterinarian in Troutdale is here for your pet at all stages in life. And while we hope your pet will never experience an emergency medical situation, we think it is good for all pet owners to be aware of some of the more common emergencies we see. By being educated on these scenarios, pet owners will know how to spot early signs of problems and act promptly, which could very well save a pet's life. One of the more common emergencies we see in our office is that of a cat or dog ingesting a poison or toxin.
Some pet owners are surprised to learn about some seemingly "harmless" substances or foods that can actually be fatal to pets. In fact, many human foods can cause serious reactions in pets, which is just one of many reasons that we never recommend pet owners feed their cats or dogs table scraps. Chocolate is a prime example of a human food that can be fatal if ingested by a cat or dog. Some other examples include coffee, garlic, and even apple seeds.
In addition to foods, pets sometimes come into contact with chemicals that can be very dangerous to their health. Antifreeze is a classic example of a chemical that can be deadly to pets. In the past, this was more of a common issue because the ingredients in antifreeze give it a sweet smell and taste. Fortunately, many antifreeze manufacturers these days have changed their formulas to have a more bitter smell so as to make dogs less likely to ingest it.
The specific symptoms a pet may display if affected by poisons or toxins can vary, but some of the most common symptoms include:
If your pet displays any symptoms of having ingested a toxin or poison, it is important to seek pet poison treatment as soon as possible. Every minute and second is precious, so there is no time to spare. Sometimes, there is no way of knowing for sure if your pet has ingested (or what) until a veterinarian can take an X-ray or ultrasound. However, if you know what your pet has ingested, it is always a good idea to bring a sample of it (especially if it is a chemical, such as a cleaning product), so long as it is kept out of reach of your pet. This can help our veterinary team have a better idea of how to treat it. To treat a pet who has ingested a toxin or poison, we will likely induce vomiting.
If you have questions about protecting your pet or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our Gresham vet at 503-661-1833. We are also available during our regular hours for emergency care if your pet ever needs it.