Having just gotten off the phone, talking through how to instruct a friend the proper way to induce vomiting in her dog, I decided this was a useful post topic. I have lost count how many times I have taken phone calls just like it, usually in the evening, either during dinner, that I get the same phone call. When to induce vomiting, and how, is an important thing to know as a pet owner, and particularly a dog owner.
Common household items can be really dangerous to your pets. Many can be life threatening. The problem is that many non-recommended methods of inducing vomiting are out there, on the internet, which can also be dangerous or life threatening. Some also, simply don’t work. If you pet got into something poisonous, you should always call your veterinarian or animal poison control center first. Time is of the essence, because there is a window of time during which you can successfully induce vomiting. It is also best to get the toxic substance out before it is absorbed into the animal’s system.
-corrosive chemicals (e.g. oven cleaners, drain cleaners, batteries, lime removal products, etc.) This can cause more damage to the esophagus when vomited.
-Hydrocarbons or petroleum distillates (e.g. kerosene, gasoline, motor oil, etc.) These oily substances are easily inhaled into the lungs, causing a severe aspiration pneumonia.
With DOGS, I recommend inducing vomiting at home when:
-the substance ingested was poisonous
-it was ingested recently (e.g., you dog ate onions less than an hour ago)
-your dog is asymptomatic, meaning that he is not acting sick
-your dog is healthy otherwise and isn’t at risk for inhaling the vomit into his lungs. There are preexisting medical conditions , such as laryngeal paralysis or collapsing trachea, which would make it safer for the vomiting to occur in a controlled environment, under the supervision of a veterinarian. Brachycephalic breeds are at higher risk of aspirating while vomiting (English bulldogs, Pekingese, Shih-Tzus, etc. for e.g.) Also, dogs with abnormal esophagi, such as megaesophagus, are at risk of aspiration while vomiting.
-for dogs, the only currently safe and recommended product to use at home to induce vomiting is 3% hydrogen peroxide.
DO NOT ever induce vomiting by:
-physically sticking a finger down the throat
-syrup of ipecac (due to side effects, which last longer than the effects of peroxide, and are more profound)
Cat owners should be aware that there is nothing you can safely give to cats if they’ve eaten something poisonous. Therefore, seek immediate veterinary attention, where they can administer a drug that is not available over the counter for this purpose.
How much peroxide to give dogs:
Keep in mind that giving too much can result in bloody diarrhea and uncontrollable vomiting.
The dose is approximately 0.5-1.0 ml per pound of weight. So if your dog weighs 50 lbs., you can give 25-50 mlx of fresh, non-expired hydrogen peroxide orally, once. Remember: 15 mlx = 1 tablespoon ( or 5 mls = 1 teaspoon).
So for a 50 lb dog, that turns out to be approximately 1.5 – 3.5 tablespoons.