My Chihuahua Got Poisoned! What Should I Do?
Obviously, none of us want our dogs to get poisoned. Unfortunately, it’s important to know that it’s a very real possibility that can happen to any pup out there. Even more importantly, you need to know what to do in case you suspect your pooch is poisoned.
When it comes to your Chi’s safety, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. As a result, it’s crucial that you’re properly prepared to take action in the case of accidental poisoning. In case you haven’t read our Common Food, Plants, and Substances From Your Environment That Can Be Poisonous to Your Chihuahua blog, we strongly recommend that you do so now.
Let’s discuss the most common symptoms of poisoning in Chihuahuas, what you need to do in case such a horrible thing happens, and what steps you can take to reduce the chances of your Chi getting poisoned.
SYMPTOMPS OF POISONING
The most important thing is to recognize that your pooch is, in fact, poisoned. This can be trickier than you may think, as not all dogs exhibit the same behavior. For such a tiny pup like a Chihuahua, even the tiniest amounts can be fatal – so make sure you are trained to look out for symptoms.
The most obvious symptoms are vomiting, coughing up blood, diarrhea, seizures, nosebleeds, blood in the stool, and a significant loss of appetite. Other, more subtle symptoms include pale gums, general weakness, increased/decreased peeing, and generally abnormal behavior.
Keep in mind that these symptoms depend on the type of poisoning your Chi is experiencing, and it probably won’t show all (or even most) of the signs we’ve mentioned. As a result, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for even the slightest changes in behavior.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK MY CHI HAS INGESTED POISON?
1. Take your Chi far away from the potential cause.
If your Chi is ingesting or is in close proximity to a potentially poisonous substance, the most important thing is to prevent it from ingesting/breathing even more. As soon as you see your pooch snooping around something it shouldn’t, take it away as soon as possible.
2. Call a vet immediately!
If you have any reasonable doubt that your Chi has been poisoned, as well as if it exhibits any of the signs we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s vital to call a local vet immediately. If your regular vet isn’t open at the moment, search for a clinic that takes emergency phone calls.
Unless you’re following your vet’s professional advice, DO NOT TRY TO TREAT YOUR CHIHUAHUA AT HOME. In other words, don’t try to induce vomiting or give your pup any medications, as you can only make things worse. Call the vet and they will tell you what to do next.
3. If possible, take a sample of the poison.
You’re probably going to need to take your Chi to a clinic for further observations. In that case, it’s important for the vet to know what your little cinnamon bun has ingested, in order to know how to properly treat it.
In the best-case scenario – you’ll want to take a sample of the poison to the clinic with you. This saves valuable time in terms of testing and guessing the poison, as the vet will easily see the cause. However, don’t put your own wellbeing at risk and don’t waste time trying to find the poison if you aren’t sure what it is, just get your Chi to the vet as soon as possible.
4. Don’t panic.
Although it may seem impossible at the moment, it’s important for you to stay calm and collected during the entire process. Not only will this allow you to have a clear head and take the necessary steps to keep your Chi safe, but it will also help your pooch stay calm.
Keep in mind that type of poison ingested, how long your dog has been exposed to it, the availability of an antidote, your reaction time, and your overall management of the situation will highly affect the outcome. As a result, it’s pivotal that you stay composed throughout.
HOW TO KEEP MY CHI FROM GETTING POISONED?
Now that you know what to do in the case your pup ingested something poisonous, let’s see what we can do to prevent our pups from getting in that situation in the first place. While you can’t keep an eye on your munchkin 24/7, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of poisoning.
-Keep cleaning supplies away from your pup.
Tons of household chemicals that are commonly found in cleaning supplies are toxic for your Chihuahua, such as drain cleaners, dishwasher soap, furniture polish, bleach, skincare products, among many others. Err on the side of caution and keep all of your cleaners safely stored away from your pooch in order to prevent accidental poisonings.
Additionally, consider using natural or dog-friendly cleaners to reduce the risk even further.
-Store potentially toxic foods where your Chi can’t reach it.
You probably already know that grapes and chocolate are toxic for your dog, but there are many other foods that can also be poisonous – such as macadamia nuts, avocado, and alcohol. As a result, make sure to store these foods in a high cupboard, or another place that is inaccessible to your Chi.
Luckily, Chihuahuas are quite small – so you shouldn’t have too many issues hiding these foods where your dog can’t reach.
-Teach your doggie to only eat the food you provide.
This may seem like an excessive step to prevent your pooch from getting poisoned, but you can never be too careful. If possible, try to train your Chi to only eat the foods you give it. That way, it won’t be tempted to eat random things on the street, or food that strangers offer.
However, let’s be honest – it’s very hard to train a Chi to refuse food. If you choose to take this route, make sure to start the training process as early as possible – when your Chihuahua is just a puppy. Additionally, it’s important to be consistent and not make any exceptions to this rule, even with your close friends and family.
-Don’t let your dog around human medication.
A lot of human medications are toxic, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, antidepressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, naproxen, blood pressure medications, etc. Naturally, you want to keep your meds away from your Chi.
An additional step to take is to make sure you don’t drop any pills on the floor and, if you do, look for it immediately, before your little gremlin has a chance to snatch it.
-Get rid of any toxic plants.
Plenty of common household plants are toxic if your dog nibbles on them, such as buckeyes and horse chestnuts, English ivy, iris, pokeweed, etc. Do your research before buying a new plant for your home, and get rid of any that may be potentially poisonous for your pup.
-Keep an eye on your Chi’s surroundings.
Depending on where you live, you may be surrounded by venomous animals. Certain breeds of frogs, toads, spiders, and snakes can be highly dangerous to your Chi, especially if your pup is curious and likes to snoop around.
While there’s not much you can do to prevent your pup from getting bit or stepping on a venomous animal, you can be extra careful where you take your Chi on a walk by avoiding high-risk areas, as well as keep your garden clean and free from objects where these animals may hide.
To sum up, there are many ways your Chi can get poisoned accidentally. It’s important to take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of that happening, as well as be knowledgeable about the steps you need to take in case it happens.
Just remember to contact the vet immediately if you have suspicions that your pooch has been poisoned. Even if you’re wrong, it’s better to be safe than sorry.