Pet First Aid for Pet Professionals Level 3 (VTQ)

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Carbon Monoxide and dogs

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Signs, Safety, and Treatment

The Silent Threat of Carbon Monoxide

Colourless and Odourless Killer

Carbon monoxide, a deadly gas, is both colourless and odourless, making it imperceptible to human senses.

Common Sources

It can be found in homes and businesses, originating from various sources such as vehicles, machinery, gas central heating, and cookers.

The Lethal Effects of Exposure

Impaired Oxygen Transfer

Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide from poorly maintained heating systems can poison the body by obstructing the transfer of oxygen in the blood's haemoglobin.

Early Signs in Pets

Due to their higher respiration and metabolic rates, pets typically exhibit symptoms earlier than humans, although both are eventually affected.

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Weakness
  • Panting
  • Collapsing
  • Seizures
  • Cherry Red Mucous Membranes

Immediate Actions for Safety

Prioritize Personal Safety

Ensure your safety first before taking any action. Carbon monoxide exposure poses a serious risk.

Steps to Take:

  • If safe to do so, open windows for ventilation.
  • Turn off any equipment emitting carbon monoxide.
  • Evacuate your pet to a safe location, away from the source of exposure.
  • Contact the national gas emergency service or a professional to assess and rectify the issue.

Seeking Veterinary Assistance

Urgent Veterinary Care

Take your pet to a vet as soon as possible for a thorough assessment of carbon monoxide poisoning levels and the appropriate treatment.

Common Treatments:

  • Oxygen Therapy: Administered immediately to provide vital oxygen. If you have access to medical oxygen, you can assist in the process.
  • Diagnostic Tests: Blood and urine samples are taken to determine carbon monoxide levels in the bloodstream, guiding treatment decisions.