Signs and Symptoms of Pet Poisoning

Signs and Symptoms of Pet Poisoning

Signs and Symptoms of Pet Poisoning

Signs and Symptoms of Pet Poisoning



Pet poisoning is unfortunately common, largely due to the variety of different substances that can be toxic to animals. Although not all instances of pet poisoning are serious, many can have severe and even life-threatening consequences for your pet.


Being aware of the signs and symptoms of pet poisoning could potentially save the life of your adored animal one day. Nevertheless, exactly how your pet will respond will depend on varying factors including their size, the toxin consumed and how much of it they came into contact with. Unsurprisingly, the larger the amount of toxin consumed, the greater the reaction is more likely to be. Some toxins have a cumulative effect and take time to build up in your pet’s system after repeated exposures. Fortunately, there are some signs and symptoms that owners can look out for that are highly indicative of pet poisoning. These include the following:


Drooling - It is difficult to tell if your pet is feeling nauseous, but drooling is thought to be a visible sign. In some instances, your pet may even foam at the mouth.


Diarrhea – This usually occurs as a result of your pet’s body trying to get rid of the toxins. Stools can be black, green or yellow as well as normal colored, and you may notice blood in them too. You may be asked to provide a sample to your vet to determine the poison and plan the necessary treatment for your pet.


Vomiting – Similar to diarrhea, vomiting is caused by your pet’s body trying to eject the poison and stop the effect that it is having. Depending on the toxin, there may also be blood present in the vomit. Again, your vet may request that you take a sample into them for analysis.


Confusion/disorientation – If your pet has ingested a toxin that has affected their brain, they could show neurological symptoms such as confusion or disorientation. They may appear dizzy and unbalanced and could even find it hard to stand or move around.


Labored breathing – This is often accompanied by a slow heart rate, although labored breathing is far easier to spot. It can occur when there is an accumulation of fluid in the lungs due to the poison consumed. Signs of labored breathing include flared nostrils, loud breaths and rapid movement of the chest cavity.


Tremoring or seizures – This is another neurological sign of poisoning and can cause your pet to convulse and lose control of bodily functions including bladder and bowel.


Rash – If your pet hasn’t ingested a toxin but instead their skin and fur has come into contact with it, they may develop signs of poisoning that include red, irritated skin, blistering, swelling, heat and persistent itching.



If you suspect that your pet may have been poisoned, it is essential that you don’t delay in seeking advice and support. Contact the Pet Poison Helpline or emergency vet to obtain this as quickly as possible. If you know what your pet has come into contact with, have this information to hand as this will help the professional that you speak to decide what the best course of action is.