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Sticky Topic Poisonings (Read 4715 times)
ghost of ethos
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Poisonings
Aug 27th, 2010 at 1:58pm
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Some information here on more important poisonings of dogs.
Ill start by resummarising rabbithunters excellent information on anticoagulant poisoning, and continue to add some info later.
As before, comments and questions are welcomed as is the input from our friendly forum pest control operators. Please ask if there is anything you want added to the list.

Anticoagulant (rat poisoning)
Includes poisons like pindone, brodifacoum warfarin and coumarin.
Probably the most common poisoning we see in dogs in this part of NZ.

These poisons interfere with blood clotting which makes affected animals bleed spontaneously. It often takes some days (eg 4-5) before effects may be noticed. Poison may stay in the body for weeks or over a month which means levels can accumulate. Dogs may be poisoned by eating baits directly or by scavenging animals killed by the poison.

What to look for: Some or several of these signs are common, remember not every dog will show the same signs:
Blood at nose or mouth, coughing, vomiting possibly with blood, lethargic, unexplained haematomas (bloodblisters) especially in the  mouth, blood passed when toileting, rapid heart rate, pale gums, increased respiratory rate. Some dogs may develop a bloated abdomen or sore joints if bleeding occurs there.

What to do: If you notice a dog ingesting baits or poisoned animals, ring the vet and rush them in as soon as possible - often (BUT NOT ALWAYS) inducing vomiting within 1 hour can prevent the worst of the toxin absorbing from the stomach. Let the vet make the call - inducing vomiting in the wrong instance can cause problems.

If the dog is showing signs like above, often I will start a dog on the antidote on suspicion while sending samples to the lab to confirm- The antidote is very good and in my experience can save most cases if iniated early enough. Antidote treatment (available as injections, tablets and capsules and now liquid also) will often go for at least a month.

Fluoroacetate (1080) poisoning
Fortunately not as common as above, but something that does occur and of relevance to hunters with dogs.

There are big species difference in susceptibility to this poison with dogs being one of the more susceptible animals. Dogs may be poisoned by eating baits or by secondary poisoning from scavenging poisoned animals.
1080 is a metabolic poison which shuts the animal down on a cellular level. It is relatively rapid acting - usually within 30 minutes to a few hours.

What to look for:
Affected dogs may tremble and twitch, show frenzied behavior like running and howling, salivation,vomiting, urinating and siezures.
Coma and death may follow over the next several hours.

What to do:
If you suspect exposure to 1080, ring and get the dog to the vet as soon as possible. if early enough in the course (ideally within 30 minutes of ingestion), pumping the stomach and decontaminating may help, certain treatments can also help with siezures. There is no antidote if too much toxin is absorbed and the prognosis is poor.

Diagnosing 1080 poisoning on a dead animalcan be hit and miss. Stomach content is the best sample to send to the lab (its expensive too) but still wont always give a true result, samples of other tissue including muscle will often come back negative even if an animal has died of 1080 due to low levels of toxin accumulating in muscle.


Organosphosphate (sheep/cattle dip) poisoning
Most often I see this one when someone has decided to "dip" the dog
for fleas, but some dogs can get poisoned by drinking water containing dip solution.

Organophosphates (OPs) are derived from nerve agents developed in WWII. They can absorb through skin, mouth or by inhilation and work by overstimulating parts of the nervous sytem.

What to look for: drooling, trembling, constricted pupils, vomiting, muscle twitches, diiarhoea, abdominal cramps. Often it is possible to smell  a sharp garlic-like smell to an affected dog.

What to do: get to the vet. There is a partial antidote which works well, there are treatments to help with trembling or convulsions.
Shampooing helps to remove any remaining dip in the coat.
Prognosis is reasonable.


Cyanide poisoning.
Again not the most common, but of concern to hunters with dogs in areas close to pest control. Dogs are most likely to ingest cyanide from licking a paste or consuming a poison pellet (eg Feratox).

Cyanide stops transfer of oxygen to tissue causing rapid death. It breaks down rapidly: 2/3 of tissue levels are lost in the first hour of death, meaning risk of secondary poisoning from scavenged carcasses is low. Cyanide kills within minutes (average time to death of a possum = 18 minutes)

What to look for:
Salivation, rapid breathing, weakness, muscle twitches, rapid heart rate, convulsions, death. Some animals may have the characteristic almond smell (usually on post mortem).

What to do: there is an antidote, however, most animals ingesting a lethal dose will die before being able to treat.

If a dog lives for 2 hours, there is a good chance they will pull through.
  
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ghost of ethos
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Re: Poisonings
Reply #1 - Sep 10th, 2010 at 3:47pm
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Grape toxicity

Grapes and hence raisins can cause renal failure. A lot is not known about it though, including what the actual toxin is.

Current thinking is the toxin is in the flesh of the grape not the seed and is probably water soluble hence can affect kidneys. (grape seed extract not been shown to be a problem but I wouldnt risk it)
There is a great variation between dogs in which ones are affected, risk factors unknown. Not every dog seems susceptible.
Cats may be susceptible.

What to look for
The signs of acute renal failure are usually a mix of depression painful abdomen, vomiting, lethargy with or without abnormal urination.

What to do
If you see a dog eat a large quantity of grapes or raisins, ring the vet, it may be possible to induce vomiting.
Treatment is detox with activated charcoal if early, and IV fluid support.
  
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ghost of ethos
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Re: Poisonings
Reply #2 - Sep 10th, 2010 at 4:04pm
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Chocolate toxicity

Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, it contains methyxanthines one of which is caffeine, the other is theobromine. These substances are tolerated well by humans but not dogs.
Methyxanthines cause central nervous system stimulation, diuresis (urination and increased thirst) and cardiovascular stimulation. Amount to cause toxicity may vary.

What to look for
Thirst, restlessness, vomiting, panting, trembling, hyperactivity, siezures, high temperature.

What to do
If you notice ingestion early enough, the vet may induce vomiting.
Supportive treatment otherwise - IV fluids anti siezure medication etc.
« Last Edit: Sep 11th, 2010 at 10:26pm by »  
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ethos
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Re: Poisonings
Reply #3 - Jun 24th, 2012 at 2:54pm
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A good link on poisons here, there is a section on human symptoms and first aid at the end.
http://www.pestcontrolresearch.co.nz/docs-bait/treatmentofpoisoning.pdf
  
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chris
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Re: Poisonings
Reply #4 - Jun 25th, 2012 at 10:49am
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interesting info ethos and very good stuff to know for dog owners.
my old gsp used to eat grapes flat out off our grape vine Shocked
  
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ethos
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Re: Poisonings
Reply #5 - Jun 25th, 2012 at 11:50am
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Yeah the grapes are quite variable in who they poison - our lab eats a few and hes 16 now!
  
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headcase
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Re: Poisonings
Reply #6 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 12:46pm
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How much chocolate are we talking about Ethos. In lab terms..

I take it dark chocolate  is worse than milder versions?

Its interesting you talk about some types of dogs are more sensitive.

I've often feed my dogs grapes as a reward during training, they like em alright, and have observed one of my dogs eating a whole chocolate cake without any apparent ill effect.

  

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
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ethos
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Re: Poisonings
Reply #7 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 2:35pm
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The amount of chocolate to poison a dog can vary too - roughly assume a king sized bar of ordinary chocolate can poison a lab sized dog.
I saw a little maltese showing signs of chocolate poisoning after eating half a moro bar earlier in the year (it did well on supportive treatment).
Yes dark chocolate is significantly more potent than regular chocloate.
  
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Max
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Re: Poisonings
Reply #8 - Jun 27th, 2012 at 10:49pm
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Quote:
The amount of chocolate to poison a dog can vary too - roughly assume a king sized bar of ordinary chocolate can poison a lab sized dog.
I saw a little maltese showing signs of chocolate poisoning after eating half a moro bar earlier in the year (it did well on supportive treatment).
Yes dark chocolate is significantly more potent than regular chocloate.



Are we onto something here?

So if I feed my 55kg 'bitch' a couple of bars of dark chocolate I could perhaps get away with murder?  Wink
  
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ethos
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Re: Poisonings
Reply #9 - Jun 27th, 2012 at 10:55pm
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She might just think you are softening her up for something  Wink
  
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