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Symptoms of Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms of Poisoning in Dogs

There are a number of substances that can cause poisoning in dogs. It is very important for dog owners to know the symptoms of dog poisoning so that they can get their dogs treated at the earliest. Know more about dog poisoning and its signs in this article.
Reshma Jirage
Dogs are curious animals by nature and tend to eat anything that they find interesting. A dog owner should keep a watch on the dog while it is eating anything, as such indiscriminate eating habits can lead to poisoning. You can identify dog poisoning by knowing its symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, lethargy, muscle tremor and rigidity, heart failure, etc.

An Overview

Generally, most dogs have a tendency to hunt for different things. This habit can put them in direct contact with dead animals, insects, and toxic plants. Dog poisoning can be caused by gas inhalation, or ingestion or absorption through the skin by direct contact with certain types of substances. Dog owners can also be unknowingly responsible for dog poisoning by giving their dogs unsuitable foods, leaving various chemical products lying around, or inappropriate use of medications and topical applications to kill fleas. Some of the substances that are poisonous to dogs are alcohol, chocolate, cleansers, caffeine, avocado, mothballs, fish, raisins, garlic in large quantities, grapes, insecticides, onions, rat poison, tick products, zinc, etc. Most poisons are ingested, while some are inhaled or absorbed by the body.

Chocolate consists of a poisonous substance known as theobromine. It can give rise to conditions such as diarrhea, vomiting, seizure, and heart problems. In some rare cases, it can lead to death. Some plants such as oleander, mistletoe, Easter lily, and azalea are extremely toxic to dogs, causing symptoms such as vomiting, rash, and kidney problems. If a dog ingests bleaching agents, it can show symptoms like vomiting, drooling, and abdominal problems.


The effects of poisoning in dogs are not always immediately apparent. Although most symptoms of poisoning appear within three days, the toxic substances may not cause any illness for several days, months, or even years. The prognosis depends upon the type and amount of poisonous substance and the duration of exposure. Poisoning causes a wide range of symptoms such as skin rash, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth irritation, lethargy, lack of appetite, drooling, staggering, breathing difficulty, hallucinations that cause an over-reaction to light or sound, bleeding disorders, seizures, muscle tremor and rigidity, liver or kidney problems, heart failure, coma, and death.

Generally, the time required for the symptoms to appear depends upon the quantity of chemical substances ingested and the duration for which these substances remain in the body before starting the treatment. You need to start the treatment as early as possible in order to prevent any serious illness in the dog. Some types of poisoning can cause permanent damage and even death if immediate treatment is not given.

If the dog exhibits these symptoms of poisoning, then you should immediately take your dog to a veterinarian. The best way to eliminate the poison from the dog's intestine is to induce vomiting. A laxative may be given by the vet in order to enhance the process of eliminating the poisonous content from the body. If the dog's skin comes in contact with poisonous substances, then it will be cleaned by bathing the dog with warm water and soap. It prevents the dog from licking the poison on its skin.

However, as far as possible, instead of trying out any home remedies unless in cases of emergencies, it is best to rush to the vet immediately. In case that is not possible, try to consult the vet over the phone for the appropriate treatment to be administered, as it is always better to be cautious to prevent the condition from worsening.