Prevention is the best way to avoid a poisoning incident. Make yourself aware of the dangers to your Yorkie and have emergency medical treatment supplies on hand. I suggest having an at-home emergency medical kit handy and stocked up in case of any type of emergency.
There are 2 types of poisoning to watch for – contact poisoning (on the skin or eyes, etc) and internal poisoning (ingesting a toxic or harmful substance). For a contact poisoning, the symptoms are generally burning, itching, redness, swelling, or other obvious signs of skin irritation or chemical burns. The symptoms of internal poisoning in Yorkies are varied, depending on the substance ingested. Generally, the symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and related symptoms.
If you need emergency assistance, get to your vet ASAP. If that is not possible, you can do your best to treat at home. The first step is to identify the specific substance that your Yorkie has come in contact with – this will aid in treatment.
For a contact poisoning, you must completely wash off any poison. Do this by flushing the area that came in contact with the poison for 30 minutes with large amounts of water. Then, give your Yorkie a complete bath with lukewarm water. Even if the substance your Yorkie came into contact with is not skin-irritating, you still must completely wash the area – your Yorkie could lick the area an ingest some of the poison.
For an internal poisoning, generally the best thing to do is to induce vomiting as soon as you can after the substance has been ingested. DO NOT induce vomiting in the following instances:
– your Yorkie has already vomited
– there is evidence of neurological involvement (stumbling, trouble breathing, etc)
– your Yorkie is unconscious
– if your Yorkie has swallowed something sharp that could lodge in the esophagus or could
tear the stomach
– if the ingested poison is an acid, alkali, cleaning product, household chemical, petroleum product, or any substance that the label says “Do not induce vomiting” In these instances, the substance could cause burns in the throat and vomiting could create more harm. Instead, get to the vet ASAP and give your Yorkie milk or water at 30 mL per 6 pounds of body weight.
If you have determined that you must induce vomiting, the best way to do it is with a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide at 1/2 teaspoon per 5 pounds of body weight (a good thing to keep inside your emergency medical kit). Repeat the dosage every 15 – 20 minutes, up to three times, until your Yorkie vomits. Walking around after administering each dose can help further induce vomiting.
DO NOT use Ipecac unless specifically directed to do so by your veterinarian. Ipecac can be dangerous in dogs.
After your Yorkie vomits, it is important to prevent further absorption of any remaining poison in the stomach. You can do this by giving activated charcoal or a mixture of milk and egg whites.
The most effective treatment is activated charcoal, which you can get in compressed 5 gram tablets. ½ tablet per 5 pounds of body weight is the typical dose. There is a liquid activated charcoal product available, but it is really messy and difficult to get into a Yorkie without the assistance of a stomach tube. So, get the tablets for emergency use at home and keep them in your Yorkie’s emergency medical kit.
If you don’t have charcoal available, you can give a mix of milk and egg whites to coat the stomach and prevent absorption of remaining poison. 1/8 cup of milk and 1/8 cup of egg whites per 5 pounds of body weight is the dosage. Use a plastic syringe to administer the mixture inside your Yorkie’s cheek.
After any at-home treatment, get to your vet as soon as you can for further treatment.
What is Poisonous:
The list of things that are poisonous to dogs is very extensive, and I am going to try to list off as many of them as I can.
Household and Environmental Dangers:
-Common pain relievers like Advil (ibuprofen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen)
-Other human drugs, both over the counter and prescription (when in doubt, induce vomiting)
-Rodent poisons like anticoagulants and hypercalcemic agents
-Poison baits such as those for rodents and snails
-Garbage – particularly rotting food contaminated with mold or bacteria
-Most household chemicals like cleaning products, deodorant, hair coloring, moth balls, nail polish, etc
-Petroleum products like gasoline, kerosene, turpentine, etc
-Lead (can be found in things like fishing weights, some paint, linoleum, drywall, batteries and other products)
-Zinc (found in post-1982 pennies, hardware, nuts and bolts, and other things)
-Toad and Salamander poisoning – the Colorado River toad (native to the Southwest and Hawaii), the marine toad (native to Florida), and the California newt (native to California)
-Chocolate (as little as 4 pounces of baker’s chocolate can be lethal to a Yorkie)
-Raisins and Grapes (as little as 1 ounce can cause kidney failure in Yorkies)
-Macadamia nuts (as little as 1/2 ounce can cause temporary paralysis in a Yorkie)
-Garlic (1/2 teaspoon can destroy red blood cells in a Yorkie)
-Onions and Onion Powder
-Active Yeast and Raw Bread Dough
-Tomato and Potato leaves and stems
-Pear and Peach Kernels
-Mushrooms (if also toxic to humans)
-Xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in some sugar-free gums)
Indoor plants that can be toxic:
Calla or arum lily
Crown of thorns
Heart leaf (philodendron)
Pothos or devil’s lily
Saddle leaf (philodendron)
Split leaf (philondendron)
Outdoor plants that can be toxic:
Western black locust yew
If your Yorkie has possibly been poisoned and you are unsure of what to do, the ASPCA has an Animal Poison Control Center available 24 hours a day. Their hotline number is (888) 426-4435. There is a $60 consultation fee per incident, and the fee may be applied to your credit card. There is also come great info on their website at http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/.