Your dog's reactions to specific toxins can vary, but there are definite signs and symptoms to let you know something is wrong. Here are a few to note and discuss with your vet.
- Abdominal pain (demonstrated through whining, with your dog's stomach tender to the touch)
- Bright green stools (might indicate your dog has eaten pellets of rat poison; this can precede any overt symptoms of poisoning)
- Irregular heartbeat
- Labored breathing
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle tremors
- Swollen limbs
If you suspect that your dog has eaten something toxic, call your vet or the ASPCA 24/7 Animal Poison Control Center's hotline at 888/426-4435. Be prepared to identify your dog's breed, age, sex, and weight; list what you think your pet has ingested and when; and describe any symptoms. Collect any vomit or chewed items in a sealable plastic bag for possible reference. There is a fee for using the ASPCA hotline, but it will most likely be a small price to pay in exchange for possibly saving your pet's life.
Also make sure you know where your community's closest emergency pet center is located. Keep the number posted so you can get information or make arrangements to admit your dog quickly.