Avoiding risk of poisoning
One of the more common emergencies that we see after-hours is toxicities.
Every year at this time we see dogs with walnut toxicity. If dogs are ingesting old walnuts off the ground, they have potential to develop tremors and seizures from walnut hulls that are mouldy and contain the toxin penitrem A. We certainly recommend not letting your dog have access to walnuts at all.
Another common toxicity is when dogs eat rat bait. Rat bait varies in strength greatly but all cause the dog to bleed. This usually occurs two to three days after the bait is ingested. If your dog has eaten rat bait we usually make them vomit immediately if ingestion is within two hours and then there is a blood test to check all is okay. If we can’t get it all out we then treat with vitamin K for up to four weeks depending on the rat bait eaten. Blood transfusions are sometimes necessary.
Medications in the house are also a source of toxicity to pets. The common pain relief medication ibuprofen is toxic to dogs. Small amounts may cause gastrointestinal upsets but larger doses can cause acute kidney failure and death. Medications should be stored safely away from children and pets.