What to do if you suspect your pet has been poisoned

Accidental poisonings are, unfortunately, not uncommon. One of the first rules of treatments for most recent (2-4 hours) ingestion of poison is to make the cat vomit. After four hours the poison will have been absorbed/passed from the stomach and it is not worthwhile vomiting them. Some vet clinics have emergency poisoning procedures kit, which consists of washing soda (to make the animal vomit) and instructions on what to do. These are very cheap and having rapid access to a kit could make all the difference.

The commonest forms of poisoning are:

Rat Bait – works by preventing blood clotting and symptoms don’t appear until 2-6 days after ingestion. You may notice the animal, off colour and/or bleeding from the nose and mouth. If recent ingestion, try to vomit the cat and then contact your vet. If you don’t realise until later that the cat has had access to rat bait, contact the vet clinic – antidotes and further treatment are available.

Anti-Freeze -Cats find anti- freeze very attractive, so don’t leave it lying around – even the water drained from the radiator. A cat can get a lethal dose simply by licking its paws. Try to induce vomiting, and then contact your vet. Because of kidney damage, further treatment is often unsuccessful.

Snail Bait –Despite additives, which are supposed, to make these unattractive to cats, poisonings in animals, which gain access to pellets, is not uncommon. Symptoms include salivation, tremors and convulsions. Vomit them as soon as possible and contact the clinic. If possible have the container available as there are two types and the treatment is a little different for both. If you use these baits then use Mesurol – it has a specific antidote.