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There are rare times where you need to induce vomiting in animals. Before we start this video, it is important that before you prepare for having one day to induce vomiting, you need to talk to your vet for full advice and training. Your vet can give you advice that relates to your dog.

In all cases of poisoning, you must get your animal to the vet as fast as possible, and have as much information about the substance consumed to hand, including the quantity and time it was consumed if possible.

We will talk about situations where you should and should not induce vomiting.

The first case where you would not induce vomiting is if the animal has taken a corrosive chemical like cleaning substances, bleach, batteries and lime removal products. It can cause more damage to the oesophagus if vomiting occurs and burns as the vomit is brought up. In these cases, the substance is better pumped out by the vet.

If the animal is already vomiting, there is no need to give it anything to make it vomit more. It will naturally be clearing its stomach. Take care of the vomit and remove it as often dogs will eat what they have brought up.

Where the animal is unconscious or unsteady on its feet is also a time where you do not induce vomiting because aspiration pneumonia (where a dog breathes vomit into his 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 if more than two hours have passed since the toxin was consumed as in this time it would have passed into the small intestine and vomiting will have no effect on removing the poison.

Times, where we would consider inducing vomiting, are:

  • Where a known substance needs to be vomited up, for example when a security dog has consumed explosives or illegal drugs
  • There the animal is not showing any signs of the poisoning
  • It has been a 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
  • When a dog has consumed anti-freeze within two hours.

With first aid, the recommended thing to give animals is 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, syrup of ipecac or mustard shouldn’t be used as they can cause other side effects in animals.

Before you start inducing vomiting you need to call your vet or poison unit to get their idea of the best course of action. They can advise if it's the best thing to do.

Vets often advise you to give 3% hydrogen peroxide that you can purchase at the pharmacy. Do not use the stronger concentrated hair colouring peroxide as these can cause serious damage. The dose is usually, one teaspoon or five millilitres for every 10 pounds of body weight. You can give that orally. Giving too much can cause blood to the vomit and uncontrolled vomiting. Your vet will advise the correct amount for your size of an animal. You can give it in a syringe, with no needle, or mix with something sweet like honey.

With dogs, its 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 they can give which are more effective and not available to the general public that induces vomiting. It is vital to get the animal to the vet as soon as possible and tell them exactly what has happened and what treatment has been given.