First Aid for Poisoned Pets

Like people dogs and cats may be exposed to a poisonous substance. Please remember it is always best to get your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

Occasionally you may have to administer some first aid before you are able to get to the vet:

  1. Protect yourself first, ensure that you are not at risk if the poison affects the skin or the respiratory tract.
  2. If the poison is affecting the skin rinse the skin with a large amount of clean, warm water and wash with dishwashing liquid thoroughly before rinsing. Please wear gloves and, if possible, do this in a well ventilated space.
  3. Wash the eyes with lots of fresh running water if your pet’s eyes have been affected. If possible do this for 10-15 minutes (easier said than done).
  4. If your pet is being affected by an inhaled toxin (such as smoke) move him/her into fresh air.
  5. If your pet is seizuring you can move him/her to a safe place, away from furniture or places he/she may fall. Do not place your fingers near your pet’s mouth.
  6. If you pet ate the toxin you may induce vomiting ONLY if:
  • The poison was ingested 2-4 hours ago AND
  • You cannot get to the vet AND
  • The toxin is life threatening AND
  • Your pet does NOT appear to be sedated, weak or wobbly AND
  • Your pet is NOT already vomiting AND
  • The toxin was NOT corrosive or made of petroleum products, for example an acid or turpentine. In these cases give water or milk with or without egg whites.

To induce vomiting:

  • Use washing soda crystals: one small crystal for cats and small dogs or 1cm³ per 20kg of body weight, this is the best option.  Vomiting should occur within 10 minutes.                                                                                                                       OR
  • Dishwashing liquid: 3 tablespoons dissolved in 1 cup of water given at 10mL per kg of body weight. Can only be used once. Vomiting should occur within 20 minutes.
Before you come to the vet please ensure:
  • You have directions to our clinic and our phone number 9755 4455
  • You bring the suspected poison in it’s packet, if possible, and any vomited gastric contents
  • You drive safely!
You may contact the Poison Information Centre on 13 11 26 for more information.