My Pet Ate What

Welcome to the first Somerset Urgent Care Blog! We will be addressing some common questions and concerns for pet owners about when and why they may need Urgent Care and what to expect. We often get calls questioning what the pet has eaten or at least chewed on and if they should be concerned. When in doubt, please call us as we can attempt to help.

If your pet has eaten something they were not suppose to, please consult with a Veterinarian Professional right away. They will assist you in triaging your pet’s current situation. If your vet is closed call the ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline at 1-888-426-4435.

Below is a list of some common things that pets should not eat but often do:

  • Xylitol / Birch Sugar – Xylitol is in sugar free gum but also may be present in Peanut Butter! Some supplements also have Xylitol present so don’t for get to check the label. When in doubt bring the product with you.
  • Chocolate – Dark chocolate, baking chocolate and cocoa are the most concentrated form of chocolate. Another issue with chocolates is the fat within these foods which cause GI upset or pancreatitis.
  • Human Medications/ Dog Medications/ Vitamins, etc. – Most medications get absorbed from the GI tract very quickly. Many pets will have digested the medication before we can have them vomit.
  • Lilies or Oother Houseplants – Some “Lilies” are not actual lilies. Check with ASPCA or another legitimate source to confirm you may have issues.
  • Mushrooms – Identification is difficult. ASPCA recommends checking with Facebook groups. We can help you with this, if you give us a call and send us a picture.
  • Moldy Food from the Garbage – Dogs do not tolerate moldy food well. This can cause very serious illness. Do not just give your pet old food; if you won’t eat it, don’t give it to your pet!
  • Raisins/ Grapes and Currents – It is not exactly known how many grapes or raisins cause an toxicity with dogs. Inducing vomiting even with very low numbers is a good idea.
  • Rodenticide – Tom-cat bait uses several different types of poisons. It is most helpful to have the actual package which the bait was purchased in when you come in for an emergency or call ASPCA for advice.
  • Bread Dough / Activated Yeast – The warmth of the stomach ferments these yeast products and can be very dangerous. Before leaving home, giving some ice water or ice chips may be helpful to slow this process.
  • Marijuana – Since the legalization of some forms of marijuana and CBD, more issues have occurred with Marijuana ingestion. New forms are much more concentrated than older forms of this drug. Patients can have significant neurological signs including seizures, coma, and death. Most patients are in a stupor, uncoordinated, and may vomit. Many recover uneventfully but may require supportive care. However, we encourage you to call or seek veterinary care to help determine the level of risk for your pet.

It is important to remember that this is not a comprehensive list, but definitely the most common emergencies that we see regularly.

My Pet Ate What In Ames Ia
Happy Dog With Bone

To review:

  1. Call our office! If we are closed, call ASPCA at 1-888-426-4435. There is a $75 fee for a consultation with the ASPCA; however, some companies will cover the cost such as rodenticides and dog medications. We will try to guide you as to whether you need to bring your pet in for immediate care.
  2. If you are instructed to come in to Urgent Care, we often ask to bring your pet to the back immediately to induce vomiting. Occasionally vomiting is not recommended; if the substance your pet ate is caustic or could damage the esophagus, vomiting may not be recommended. Vomiting will not be induced if your patient is showing neurological signs at time of presentation.*Vomiting is very difficult to induce in cats. I know, they seem to vomit at will when you don’t want them to; however, we will attempt to if indicated even if it may not be successful.Often when a toxic substance is ingested, we proceed with other treatments and monitoring even if the induction of vomiting was successful.
  3. Activated Charcoal is often administered to prevent further absorption of the toxic substance. This procedure is a much larger amount of charcoal than the capsules or tablets available at your local pharmacy. Pets often have black stools for 24 – 48 hours following administration of activated charcoal.
  4. Baseline bloodwork is often recommended to ensure that your pet does not have an underlying abnormality which could be attributed to the toxin.
  5. This is where treatment is dependent on the toxin your pet has ingested. Time is of the essence. The quicker you can get your pet to a veterinary professional the better!
Cat Eating From Bowl
White Silhouette With Dog, Cat, And Rabbit
White Silhouette With Dog, Cat, And Rabbit Mobile

Somerset Urgent Care is available Monday-Friday until 10pm.

Please call for an appointment. We will fit you in when convenient for you and as soon as possible!

Contact us at 515-292-0400

Published by Dr. Paula Kuhfus, DVM
Urgent Care, Somerset Veterinary Hospital.