Toxic Ingestion

Urgent Pet Care Omaha has gets quite a few visits from concerned pet owners whose curious cats and inquisitive dogs are having some sort of allergic or negative reaction to a toxin they’ve encountered. It happens more often than you think—until it happens to your pet.

Just like with children, cleansers, chemicals and pest traps ‘hidden’ around the house often get ‘found,’ and toxic encounters with flora and certain foods can make them sick. Certain toxic ingestions are deadly, putting your furry friend in serious danger. In these cases, come right away to Urgent Pet Care Omaha.

Our emergency veterinarian in Omaha has experience with an array of toxic ingestion cases in cats, dogs and other pets. Some of the most common causes of accidental poisonous ingestion in pet include:

Insecticides & Pesticides: Roach and rodent baits are temping for cats to play with and for pups to lick, and pests that are poisoned can actually poison your pet if ingested. Insecticides such as snail eradicators that contain organophosphates are particularly dangerous when consumed.

Antifreeze: One of the top causes of allergic and toxic reactions in pets is antifreeze, likely because it’s present in most homes and it has a sweet taste that appeals to dogs in particular.

Household Cleansers & Chemicals: Things ranging from laundry supplies and hygiene implements to that seemingly harmless basket of potpourri can post a toxic threat if consumed.

Foods: Some lesser quality store bought foods contain byproducts that some pets have allergic reactions to, and many dogs and cats don’t process or digest human foods well. While grapes, chocolate and onions are well known no-no’s, but other toxic foods include xylitol, coffee grounds, rhubarb, alcohol and raw dough.

Toxic House Plants: Tulips, sago palms, hyacinths, poinsettias, amaryllis and several types of lilies are just a few house plants known to be toxic to pests. Do your gardening research before planting!

Human Medications: Ibuprofen and acetaminophen have caused numerous pet fatalities, and no type of human medicines should be given to pets. Consult an emergency veterinarian in Omaha right away if your pet accessed your stash of human drugs.

Toxic Mushrooms: If your pet spends time outdoors, there’s a chance they may encounter wild mushrooms and even plants that are toxic and/or psychotropic, and they need to get emergency care immediately.

It’s unlikely you’ll catch your mischievous fur boss in the act of getting into things they shouldn’t. However, telltale signs are likely to eventually surface including:
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Prolonged vomiting or diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite or excessive thirst
  • Unusual behaviors or ‘seeing’ things not there
  • Lethargic behavior beyond the norm
  • Increases or decreases in urination

If one or more of these signs are present and you suspect toxic exposure, then head to an emergency veterinarian in Omaha as quickly as possible. Without immediate and proper treatment, pet poisoning can cause organ failure and internal bleeding that lead to fatality.

When you bring your pet in with signs of toxic exposure, our mission is to first stabilize their condition. If they cannot breathe, we may need to establish an emergency open airway, and if their heart has stopped we’ll administer CPR or cardiac massage in effort to resuscitate them. The next goal is to neutralize the substance ingested. There are several options we may take in addition to administering an antidote to prevent further absorption and to eradicate the toxin. These include:

  • The use of activated charcoal or enemas for absorption prevention.
  • Using external oils to prevent the substance from entering the dermis during expulsion.
  • Gastric lavage to cleanse the insides.
  • Administering diuretics to enhance toxic secretions through urine.
  • Dialysis for serious conditions to filter the kidneys and blood.
We have generous office hours and are here for you and your pet for emergency situations. Call our Papillion office at 402-597-2911 or our Millard office at 402-991-9944 for more information.