First aid treatment for all kinds of poisons in dogs

There are many different causes of the poisoning in dogs such as eating of chemicals, baits, etc… All of these can endanger the health and life of the dog. Therefore, you must be careful and recognize the signs as well as symptoms of poisoning in dogs to solve in time and to avoid the critical condition.


Common causes of poisoning in dog

Dogs are poisoned by food

Some signs of poisoning in dogs include convulsing, frothing at the mouth, sluggishly walking and tiredness. If you saw the dog eating unknown something before, the dog could be poisoned.

Dogs are poisoned because they are in contact with toxins and chemicals

For example, industrial chemicals, lice sprays, mosquito repellents, pesticides. Chemical bottles and boxes having symbols of skulls and crossbones are able to contain toxic substances.

Dogs are poisoned because they eat baits

Poisons are often put in food that dogs love such as sausages, pate, roasts … Baits are usually mixed with pate, and then thrown into the areas where dogs regularly present. The bodies of mice and cats being dead in areas where rat bait is used increase a high risk of poisoning in dogs. Dogs drinking wastewater, toilet water, water from washing machines and water having detergent can also be poisoned.

How to treat dogs eating rat poison in an emergency

In Vietnam, eating rat bait in dogs is very common, especially in rural areas. Being poisoned by rat poison is one of the most common causes of poisoning in dogs. That damages both the material and spirit of owners. So what to do when the dog unfortunately eats rat poison?

First aid for dogs eating rat poison

As soon as you find out that your dog has been poisoned, it is important to keep calm to give first aid for your dog. Immediately call the nearest veterinary clinic so that you are given instructions. If your dog has just eaten rat bait, you must make them vomit in order to prolong time while waiting for the veterinarian to come.

To make dog vomit, you will need a new hydrogen peroxide solution. Do not use old solutions because of low efficiency. You need veterinarian’s instructions on a safe amount of solution. Excessive hydrogen peroxide can make dogs fatal. Normally, for every 2-3 kg of body weight, you need one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide solution for your dog.

This method should only be used within 2 hours from when the dog eats rat bait. And do not put the solution in the dog’s body more than three times. Each time should be about 10 minutes apart and not more than three tablespoons of the solution. If your dog does not vomit after drinking the third teaspoon, you must stop using this method or doing anything else to help the dog vomit without having the vet’s advice.

See more: Top 10 Best Dog Diapers For 2020

Be careful when using drugs to make dog vomit

Do not use the medicine to induce vomiting if the pet is unconscious, has difficulty in breathing and has signs of pain or shock. Whether your dog vomits or not, you need to take it to the nearest vet promptly after giving first aid. Do not do anything without following the guidance of experts.

Making dog vomit is not really important at this time, so be careful. Giving first aid incorrectly can make a dog’s condition worse. Before taking your pet to the vet, you need to collect these things:

  • The packaging (if any).
  • The bait is left over (if any).

Next, you need to estimate the amount of poison which dog ate and the time when the dog was poisoned. After inducing vomiting, the veterinarian will give your dog the appropriate treatment. In some cases, an active ingredient taken through the mouth is activated carbon which prevents toxins from seeping into the intestinal wall. Basing on time when the dog was poisoned and the amount of toxins which dog ate, veterinarians make diagnoses and supplementary treatments. 

Dogs are poisoned after eating chocolate

Chocolate is produced from cocoa beans containing a natural stimulant called theobromine. Humans can absorb and digest it easily while the digestion of theobromine in dogs is very slow. And in that time, the level of toxins in dogs will constantly increase that causes serious consequences.

The amount of chocolate which can cause poisoning in dogs is different from dog breeds. Larger dogs need more toxins than smaller dogs to cause poisoning. A little chocolate will only cause indigestion, along with vomiting or diarrhea. Eating too much chocolate, dogs will start convulsing, paralysing, arrhythmia, internal bleeding or cardiac failure. Then signs of hyperkinesis can appear. In the worst case, chocolate poisoning in dogs can lead to death.

Diagnosis of chocolate poisoning in dogs

Diagnosing the seriousness of chocolate poisoning in dogs is based on some symptoms which dogs have and how much chocolate which dogs ate. Depending on your dog’s weight, the amount of chocolate is enough to cause poisoning in dogs. These symptoms will appear within 4 – 24 hours after the dog ate chocolate.

When your dog has one of the symptoms of chocolate poisoning, you need to take it to see the vet as quickly as possible. It will be supplemented with digestive medicine to help protect the digestive system immediately after being diagnosed with poisoning.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increasing in body’s temperature
  • Increasing in body’s reflexes
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Racing heart rate
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Low blood pressure
  • Convulsions
  • Cardiac failure, exhaustion, or lethargy

How to treat for dogs having chocolate poisoning

First, the vet will induce them to vomit all of the food in their stomach to prevent the Theobromine toxin from penetrating deeply into the dog’s body. Then, vets will use activated carbon to absorb the toxins remaining. At this time, your dog will receive fluids to limit convulsions and maintain heart rate.

To prevent your dog from negative consequences, there is no other way except that you have to pay attention so that you do not let your dog come near chocolate cakes and candies. You should choose suitable food for the dog to avoid any unfortunate situations.

Dogs and cats are poisoned by Nitric Oxide gas

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless gas. If you inhale CO, CO will combine with Hemoglobin in the blood to form Carboxyhemoglobin (HbCO) which disrupts the oxygen-carrying function of the blood and seriously affects the transporting and transferring oxygen. That causes acute hypoxia. Respiratory system, circulatory system and nervous system are damaged.

Some symptoms of dogs that were mildly poisoned dogs include headache, dizziness, fatigue, palpitation, vomiting and vague vision. Dogs that were moderately poisoned have symptoms like having rash and scales on skin, rapidly breathing and beating of the heart, tense four limbs, having difficulty in consciousness and reaction to the light of the pupil, slowly reacting to cornea.

Severely poisoning leads to deep lethargy, red lips, pallor, cold hands and feet, perspiring, dilated pupils and rapid convulsion. Dogs were poisoned, immediately removed from the area. You need to take your dog to a fresh area, put your dog in a supine position, and promptly take it to a veterinarian.

Emergency procedures for dogs being nitric oxide poisoning

First, measure the amount of Carboxyhemoglobin in the blood to give advice on treatment. Dogs that were mildly poisoned usually have a saturated concentration of Carboxyhemoglobin about 10% ~ 20%. That in dogs being severely poisoned is usually over 50%. However, the content of saturated carboxyhemoglobin and the severity of clinical symptoms are not entirely correlated.

  • After being admitted to the hospital, take care in accordance with internal medicine’s rules.
  • Maintain a smooth respiratory tract, clean mouth, nose and fluids in the neck.
  • By oxygen method, immediately raised to a high concentration to breathe 8 – 10 liters/min. If possible, it can be treated by Hyperbaric Oxygen. Dogs and cats have signs of respiratory distress, they need to be immediately intubated and stimulated to breathe.
  • Intravenous line, providing drugs according to the veterinarian’s advice. For example, Mannitol, Dexamethasone. Combines the prevention and treatment of cerebral edema, improves metabolism of the brain.
  • After giving the first aid for dogs and cats, if they continue to be comatose, have fever and frequently convulse, you should cool their body. If the disease is severe, artificial hibernation methods can be used.
  • Pay attention to add nutrition, maintain water, electrolyte and balance of the acid-base.
  • During the emergency, we should carefully observe the changes of the disease and important signs.

How to treat nitric oxide poisoning

Quickly allow a poisoned dog to inhale oxygen. Inhaling oxygen containing 5% ~ 7% CO2 is the best. If possible, using Hyperbaric Oxygen to treat pets. This method is more efficient than others. Especially, the efficiency of this method reaches to 95% when you treat dogs in acute poisoning. You can use 50ml of 50% Glucose and 2 to 4g of Vitamin C to inject into the vein. Vitamin C helps to reduce oxidation of the cells and improves metabolism.

If pets’ intracranial pressure is high, you can infuse 0.5 ~ 1g/kg of 25% Mannitol in half an hour. In addition, you can also provide Dexamethasone. In cases of obstruction of respiratory or excessive respiratory secretions, you can open trachea. If pets are in coma and have a fever, you can use artificial hibernation method and respirator for pets being respiratory failure.

Dogs and cats suffer from organic phosphorus poisoning

Organic phosphorus compounds can enter dogs’ bodies through the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract or skin and cause poisoning in dogs. If dogs eat foods which contain phosphorus from pesticides, drink polluted water, they can be poisoned. In addition, people produce and distribute organic phosphorus and powder or solution that contaminate neighboring areas which are blown away to where dogs live and cling to dog’s food, if lick or inhale them, dogs can be poisoned. 

Because of toxicity, the intrusion of the amount of organic phosphorus through routes differently affects dogs. Clinical symptoms and the development of poisoning are also varied. In general, within a few hours after pets inhale, eat, or have skin contaminated organic phosphorus, they will suddenly become sick. When the dog is poisoned, firstly, the dogs become worried and have a muscle spasm. From eyelid muscles to the facial muscles and quickly expanding to the neck, body and muscles, dogs tremble and convulse. Four limbs of dogs are twitched. 

Types of organic phosphorus poisoning

Organic phosphorus poisoning in dogs includes two forms. Depending on the severity, appropriate emergency treatments for dogs and cats are suggested.

In case of being lightly poisoned:

  • Increase secretion of digestive juices, saliva and sweat.
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea.
  • Infrequent pulse, low blood pressure, heart conduction disturbances.
  • Pupils shrink, synapse becomes red, tears appear, vision decreases, sometimes dogs have double vision.
  • Sudden contraction of larynx, strong increase in phlegm production.

In case of being severely poisoned

  • Muscle weakness, muscle tremor and muscle paralysis which lead to respiratory paralysis.
  • Heart arrhythmia, ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest.
  • Affect the central nervous system
  • Coma, respiratory depression.
  • Convulsion.
  • Inhibition of the vasomotor center causes circulatory failure and leads to death.

First aid for organic phosphorus poisoning

Inject 1-5mg of Atropine into the vein within 5 -10 minutes. Inject continuously until having signs of infiltration of Atropin. Skin is dry, hot and red. The pulse is quick at 120 times/minute. Nerve struggled slightly. After injecting 5 -10mg in 10 minutes several times without showing signs of absorption, the dose of Atropin should be increased or shortened to 5 minutes.

Infiltration of Atropine must be maintained throughout the ventilation process. Stop artificial ventilation when it is going well, maybe it is up to 10 days. To maintain this condition, the amount of Atropine needs to be explored. When having PAM, the amount of Atropine is greatly reduced, sometimes only a few tens of mg or a few hundred mg.

When there are signs of infiltration of atropine, the amount of PAM needs to be reduced. Stop PAM after 2 – 4 days of treatment. PAM is an Oxim (2- Pyridine Aldoxime Methyl chloride). In addition, there are many other types on the market such as Pralidoxime, Contrathion, Obidoxime …

Inject 200-500 mg into the vein within 10 minutes. Do not inject within 5 minutes because the body can not suffer from it so it can cause vascular collapse. If prognosis is heavy, dogs must be injected many times. After injecting one hour, the second dose is repeated. After 30 minutes later, you can inject again. Prognosis is mild and moderate, you can inject every 2 hours. Dogs are severely poisoned, firstly, you need to  ventilate. Firstly, inject Atropin, and then inject PAM.

Detoxify dogs and cats by Homeopathy method

Rescue cats and dogs from the toxins in their body is considered an effective method. This can help your pets heal quickly. Toxins that accumulate in the dog’s body can come from the use of corticosteroid drugs,  nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics and antifungal drugs or because of chronic di diseases.

With the use of herbs, “Homeopathic” therapy, and nutritional supplements. A veterinarian can help rescue a poisoned dog by clearing out toxins in the body. Helps increase healing ability.


One of the ways to treat a dog being poisoned is to fast for 12 to 24 hours for a pet. During this time, only let the pets drink water. Note, do not apply this method without the supervision of a veterinarian.

Provide quality food

To ensure your dog’s long-term health, you need to provide your dogs for quality foods. You can also give your dog homemade or raw food. Although this method is simple, it is one of the basic steps to reduce the accumulation of toxins in your dog’s body. Ask your veterinarian for a suitable diet for your dog. After fasting, dogs need to be cured for their stomach

Heal the stomach

Damaged stomachs are core which leads to the absorption of toxins. Therefore, the treatment for gastritis in dogs is considered an important step and should be used firstly when curing for poisoned dogs. You should feed your dogs on foods containing the precursors of the Prebiotics probiotic which is the main ingredient of probiotics. Useful bacteria and yeast help to keep the digestive system healthy. Glutamine is an amino acid that helps to nurture intestinal cells, to increase immunity and to heal the dog’s damaged stomach.

Liver detoxification

The liver is the main part that takes on detoxification. Once the liver is damaged, it can lead to accumulation of toxins in the dog’s body. Therefore, the detoxification for the liver is also very important. Milk Thistle or Silybum Marianum is considered useful herbs that you can use to detox and heal damaged livers. You should also ask your veterinarian for the amount of them to treat for pets.


Homeopathy is a treatment for poisoned dogs by natural herbs. It is often used to slowly detoxify cats and dogs for the whole pet’s body. Lymphomyosot is a type of antidote. Berberis julianae and strychnos nux- vomica are commonly used for the detoxification of the urogenital system, digestive system, blood and lymph.

If your dog gets ill and takes an overdose of drugs, detoxifying may be a suitable method at this time. Talk to veterinarians about how to detoxify your dog so that treatment is easier.

Generally how to treat for dogs being poisoned

When a dog is poisoned, you need to quickly help dogs induce vomiting. For a long time, the toxin will be absorbed through the stomach into the small intestine so it is really difficult to treat. Know what poison your dog ate. Because the way of detox is different from each type of poison.

Induce vomiting for dogs by the following ways:

  • Urgently induce vomiting by drinking hydrogen peroxide H2O2 3%. Mix 1 teaspoon of it for each 5 kg of body weight. Drink every 15 minutes until the dog vomits up the ingested toxins.
  • Gastric lavage by an inhaler with a large amount of water in order to dilute the poison. Treat specific detoxification if the poison is known. Glucose infusion of 5% into vascular properties. These therapies are prescribed and performed by a veterinarian.
  • Induce vomiting by sour vinegar. Pump it into the dog’s mouth by the syringe. This can make your dog vomit faster.
  • Give the dog milk or green tea, lemon juice … to detoxify. If the dog refuses to drink, open the dog’s mouth and then pour it into. If a dog drinks, the ability to live is 80%.
  • Irritate stomachs to induce vomiting when dogs and cats are poisoned. Mix egg white and oil, and then force the dog to eat them. If the muscles of the jaw are stiff, you can use a syringe to pump directly to stimulate the stomach to vomit.

When you should not induce vomiting for poisoned dogs?

It is not always possible to induce vomiting for a poisoned dog. Sometimes you need to base on the actual situation of the poisoned dog in order to decide to induce vomit or not, or use other methods. Here are some cases when you should not induce vomiting.

  • Dogs have vomited on their own and are constantly vomiting.
  • Dogs are in lethargy, heart failure, and difficulty breathing.
  • Dogs eat some substances such as acids, alkaloids, household cleaners, petrochemical products.
  • Medicines listed on the label “Do not induce vomiting”.
  • There are symptoms of convulsion because of nerve damage: Using the Diazepam sedative (Valium) or the Barbiturate to infuse into the vein must be examined and indicated by the veterinarian.
  • Diarrhea and acute gastrointestinal bleeding: Provide water and electrolytes by infusing Lactated Ringer, antibiotics… Be careful when using drugs to reduce diarrhea such as Atropine… It must be examined and indicated by the veterinarian.

Detoxify dogs and cats’ stomach after inducing vomiting

After inducing vomiting, let your cat drink green bean juice and cooled ginger juice alternately which help to detoxify the remaining toxins in the cat’s stomach very well. You can also cook the green bean and ginger, crush them, and then feed them to your cat. If pets drink them, there is 80% chance of survival.

After giving first aid, the poisoned cat will return to its normal state. Cats no longer convulse and foam at the mouth. At this time, the cat should be fixed in a place. After that, observe the dog’s health condition and symptoms which have completely disappeared or not. Get a warm cat by blankets to avoid hypothermia.

Note, you should isolate poisoned pets from others to avoid being poisoned because they often lick when seeing their yellow – creature being injured or they can eat bait that was vomited. That is extremely dangerous as it will make the others be poisoned.

After giving first aid, you should take your pet to the veterinarian to cleanse intestine and add other treatments. At this time, your pets are really safe and do not have any side effects.

With the knowledge of how to handle dogs being poisoned or eating bait, I hope that you can handle this situation as quickly as possible to help the dogs get out of danger. Good luck!

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