TO YOUR VETERINARIAN. If your pet is showing signs of ingesting a poison, it is important that your veterinarian examines her and treated appropriately. Some toxins can progress and lead to severe seizures. If you suspect antifreeze poisoning, it must be treated within 4-6 hours, before irreversible kidney damage occurs.
PURGE THE POISON. In most cases of poisoning, getting your pet to vomit is the most important thing that you can do. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING if something caustic has been consumed (such as drain cleaner or bleach). To induce vomiting, give hydrogen peroxide at 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight. If your pet doesn’t vomit in 10 minutes, repeat again. NEVER do more than 2 treatments of peroxide. You can also try salt: dilute 1 teaspoon of salt in a tablespoon of water per every 10lbs of body weight.
NEUTRALIZE THE TOXIN. If a caustic substance has been ingested, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING, rather give something to neutralize it. An alkaline toxin such as drain cleaner is neutralized by something acidic such as vinegar: give 1 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight. An acidic toxin, such as battery acid, is best neutralized with something alkaline such as Milk of Magnesia: give 1 tsp per 10lbs of body weight.
DELAY ABSORPTION. Activated charcoal is readily available at most pharmacies. It delays absorption of any toxin by binding to the toxic compound in the stomach. The easiest way is to give the capsule form. For those garbage-eating dogs (such as my own dog) it is a good idea to have hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal always on hand.
TOPICAL TOXINS. If your pet is having a reaction to something on the skin, such as flea medications, or oil on the skin, then you want to remove it as soon as possible. Dish soap works well – lather it up, then rinse your pet thoroughly. Thick tarry substances that you can’t wash off can be first covered in flour, as the flour absorbs some of the oil, then washed off with dish soap.
PREVENTION. Ensure medications are always out of mouth’s reach. Become familiar with toxic plants (visit http://www.aspca.org/toxicplants for a complete list) and remove those from your house, if your pet is a plant-eater. Keep your compost covered.