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There are so many poisons that come up, some that we do not even know about yet, but when they happen, we obviously discover that they are toxic to animals. There is a really good resource, which is the Veterinary Poison Line, which can help vets and clients as well, owners, to know whether what your animal has ingested is a potential toxin to them. Most of the time, the vets will know. If you are suspicious that your animal, or if you know that your animal has ingested something, and you are not sure if it is a toxin or not, phone your vet immediately and let them know.

There are known toxins that happen quite regularly. And these are rat poison, quite a common one; slug bait in certain areas of the country is another common one, and then food poisons as well. So, your grapes, your chocolates, onions, lots of things that you would eat at home could potentially be toxic. Worth just if you are not sure, check with your vet. Medicine-wise, we still have animals that come in that have ingested paracetamol or ibuprofen at home. It seems that foil packets just seem to attract dogs and cats, and they try to get into them. Often then they won't ingest what is inside, but if you are not there, you don't know if they have or not if you have got things just scattered around on the floor. Ibuprofen in particular is really, really dangerous to dogs and cats, and if there is ever a slight chance that they have ingested that, they should be seen really urgently.

If you know what they have ingested and you can tell us that, and we can see them within a couple of hours of ingestion of that poison, then we can normally make your animal sick, in order to bring that back up before it is absorbed into their system and causes the organ damage that these things do. If you are suspicious and not quite sure, it is still worth just bringing them down and making them vomit anyway, because there is no harm in that; an animal will recover very quickly from that procedure. If it is longer than 2 hours and you know they have ingested something, you need to be coming down to the vets with all the information. So it is really important for us that if it is a rat poison, that we know what kind it is, because there are different ones that cause different consequences. So we need to know if it is one that is a neurotoxin, that could then potentially cause seizures or neurological problems, or if it is one that stops blood clotting, in which your dog or your cat could potentially be bleeding out somewhere.
The other one that we see quite a lot in winter with cats is antifreeze. This is quite sweet and they quite like the taste of that. Again, you may not be sure, but if there is an open bottle of antifreeze around, or something has spilled, it is better to be safe than sorry and get your cat seen immediately, because that is fatal and it happens quite quickly.