If your pet has ingested a poison, try to rinse or wipe out the mouth with a damp towel/flannel. Do not give your pet anything to eat or drink before speaking with the Animal Poisons Centre or a vet. We receive a lot of calls with pet owners asking how to induce vomiting in dogs. Never induce vomiting unless advised to do so by the Animal Poisons Centre or a vet. There are many cases whereby making an animal vomit can do more harm than good. After rinsing/wiping out the mouth, always call the Animal Poisons Centre for further advice.
If your pet has a chemical on their skin or in their hair, ensure that the affected area(s) are washed thoroughly with a gentle soap and water. Ensure any soap residue is then rinsed off the area. Thoroughly removing chemicals soon after exposure can reduce the risk of irritation, burns and in some cases systemic poisoning. After completing the wash, always contact the Animal Poisons Centre for further advice.
Try to irrigate the affected eye(s) with tap water or normal saline (if sufficient quantity available) for up to 15 minutes. This can often be difficult to do, and is much easier if you have a second person to help you hold the animal still. Ideally the eye(s) should be irrigated from the inner corner and washed outwards towards the side of the face. This prevents any chemical being inadvertently washed into the other eye. Always call the Animal Poisons Centre after you have completed the irrigation for further assessment.
Move the pet to fresh air as soon as safe to do so. Keep the animal calm and still and always contact the Animal Poisons Centre for further advice.
All snake bites or suspected snake bites in Australia should be treated as life-threatening. It is vital that you keep your pet calm and as still as possible. Try to limit any movement (including walking) as much as possible, and transport them to your nearest veterinary practice immediately.
If you are not close to a veterinary clinic and the bite was witnessed to have occurred on a limb, apply a pressure immobilisation bandage to that limb before transporting the animal to a veterinarian. The bandage should cover the entire limb, from the paw to the base of the limb. The pressure bandage should not be applied too tight as to restrict blood flow, but at a similar tightness to what would be applied for a sprained ankle. There is no role for a pressure immobilisation bandage for bites that are not on a limb.
The sooner your pet is treated, the better their chances of survival.Symptoms of snake bites include:
– Sudden weakness followed by collapse
– Laboured breathing
– Paralysis, starting with the hind legs
– Loss of bladder and bowel control
– Shaking or twitching of the muscles
– Blood in the urine
DO NOT try to catch or kill the snake for ID or for any other purpose
DO NOT apply a tourniquet
DO NOT wash the bite site
DO NOT cut, suck or apply any other treatments to the bite-site
If you see a snake on your property, keep a safe distance and contact your local snake catcher or use Snake Catchers.
When you call the Animal Poisons Centre, we may ask for the following information:
The Animal Poisons Centre will conduct a risk assessment on your pet’s exposure and provide treatment recommendations or referral advice if necessary.