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Occasionally, you may need to induce vomiting in dogs. Before we start looking at inducing vomiting, it's important that you prepare yourself by talking to your vet for full advice and training. Your vet can give you the advice that relates uniquely to your dog. In all cases of poisoning, you must get the dog to the vet as fast as possible and have as much information about the substance consumed at hand, including the quantity and the time it was consumed, if possible. We'll now discuss the situation where you should and should not induce vomiting.

The first case is where you would not induce vomiting, is if the animal has taken a corrosive chemical like a cleaning substance, bleach, batteries and lime removal products. It can cause more damage to the oesophagus if vomiting occurs, as it burns as the vomit is brought up. In these cases, the substance is better pumped out by the vet. The second case is if the animal is already vomiting. There is no need to give anything more to make it vomit more, it will naturally be clearing its stomach. Clean up and remove the vomit. As often dogs will eat what they've brought up. The next reason for not inducing vomiting is where the animal is unconscious or unsteady on its feet because aspiration pneumonia, where the dog breathes in its vomit into the lungs can become a secondary problem. Also, hydrocarbons or petroleum products are oily substances and they can easily be inhaled into the lungs, which can cause severe aspiration pneumonia.

The last main reason you do not induce vomiting is that there have been more than two hours have passed since the toxin was consumed, as in this time, it would have passed to the small intestine and vomiting will have no effect in removing the poison. Times where we would consider inducing vomiting include, where a known substance needs to be brought up, for example, when a security dog has consumed explosives or illegal drugs, where the animal is not showing any signs of the poisoning, it has been recent ingestion if the substance is known to be poisonous, the animal has no other medical problems that could be made worse by inducing vomiting like an abnormal airway when you have phoned the vet and he recommends inducing vomiting and finally when the dog has consumed antifreeze within two hours.

With first aid, the recommendation is to give animals a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Things you should not use to induce vomiting include, salt or saline solutions as this can cause problems with elevated sodium levels, sticking your fingers down their throat and a syrup of Ipecac or Mustard should not be used as they can cause other side effects in animals. Before you start inducing vomiting, you need to call your vet or the poisons unit to get their idea on the best course of action. They can advise if it is the best thing to do. Vets often advise you to give 3% hydrogen peroxide that you can purchase at the pharmacy. Do not use stronger concentrated hair colouring peroxide as this can cause serious damage. The dose is usually one teaspoon or 5 millilitres for every 4 and a half kilos of body weight. You can give that orally. Giving too much can cause bleeding and you will see blood in the vomit and uncontrolled vomiting.

Your vet will advise on the correct amount for your size of the dog. You can give it in a syringe with no needle or mix it with something sweet like honey. With dogs, it's best to walk them about to get movement and vomiting usually occurs within 15 minutes. If vomiting has not occurred, call your vet again and they may recommend repeating the dose once more. A vet has additional drugs that they can give which are more effective and not available to the general public that induce vomiting. It's vital to get the animal to the vet as soon as possible and tell them exactly what's happened and what treatment has been given.