Inducing Vomiting in Dogs
To induce vomiting or not to induce vomiting: That is the question for dog owners whose pets have ingested a potential toxin.
Diana R. Laverdure |
Posted: September 18, 2014, 8 a.m. PST
To help you decide, follow these guidelines from board-certified veterinary specialist Justine Lee, D.V.M., a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and the American Board of Toxicology:
DO NOT induce vomiting if your dog ingests the following:
- Corrosive substances, such as batteries, drain cleaners, or bleach. They can potentially cause more injury when vomited back up the esophagus.
- Liquid or gelcap medications, including Tylenol and Advil, which are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Petroleum distillates, such as motor oil, gasoline, or kerosene. "These toxic hydrocarbons are easily inhaled into the lungs during vomiting,” Lee says.
- Gorilla Glue, a wood glue that rapidly expands into a solid mass in the stomach.
- Sharp objects, such as needles or razors.
- Toxins ingested longer than one or two hours ago. At this point, they will have already moved out of the stomach.
Lee also advises against inducing vomiting in dogs who already show signs of poisoning, such as vomiting, drooling, lethargy, twitching, seizures, or unconsciousness. "It’s too late to induce vomiting, as the poison has already taken effect,” she says. "Immediately get the dog to the veterinarian or an emergency clinic for care.”
Additionally, don’t induce vomiting in brachycephalic, or short-nosed, breeds, such as Pugs or Bulldogs, which can aspirate the vomit into their lungs, Lee says.
DO induce vomiting if your dog has ingested these substances:
- A food poison, such as chocolate or grapes
- Medications other than liquids or gelcaps, such as tablets and pills
"The only safe method to induce vomiting at home is 3 percent hydrogen peroxide,” Lee says. She advises keeping a dosing syringe or turkey baster handy to carefully syringe it into the corner of the dog’s mouth, as it must be administered all at once. Give 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight, with a maximum of 3 tablespoons for large dogs. "If your dog doesn’t vomit within five minutes, you can try re-dosing it,” she says. "If your dog doesn’t vomit after that, get to the veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately,” she says.
Before inducing vomiting, always contact your veterinarian or an animal poison control center, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Animal Poison Control Center. "They can determine if what your dog ingested is poisonous to begin with, and guide you if vomiting is necessary and safe in your dog’s case,” Lee says.
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