Not Found
Locations

Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

* This is the Veterinary Version. *

Introduction to Poisoning

By Barry R. Blakley, DVM, PhD, Professor, Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan ; Rob Bildfell, DVM, MSc, DACVP, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University ; William D. Black, MSc, DVM, PhD, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph ; Herman J. Boermans, DVM, MSc, PhD, Professor of Toxicology, Director Toxicology Program, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph ; Cecil F. Brownie, DVM, PhD, DABVT, DABFE, DABFM, FACFEI, Emeritus Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University ; Raymond Cahill-Morasco, MS, DVM, New, SeaPort Veterinary Hospital, Gloucester, MA ; Keith A. Clark, DVM, PhD, Retired Director, Zoonosis Control Division, Texas Department of Health ; Gregory F. Grauer, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Professor and Jarvis Chair of Small Animal Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University ; Sharon M. Gwaltney-Brant, DVM, PhD, DABVT, DABT, Toxicology Consultant, Veterinary Information Network (VIN) and Adjunct Faculty, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois ; Larry G. Hansen, PhD, Professor, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois ; Safdar A. Khan, DVM, MS, PhD, DABVT, Director of Toxicology Research, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, Illinois ; Garrick C. M. Latch, MASc, PhD, Consultant ; Gavin L. Meerdink, DVM, DABVT, Clinical Professor, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois ; Lisa A. Murphy, VMD, Veterinary Poison Information Specialist, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center ; Frederick W. Oehme, DVM, PhD, Professor of Toxicology, Pathobiology, Medicine and Physiology, Comparative Toxicology Laboratories, Kansas State University ; Gary D. Osweiler, DVM, MS, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University ; Mary M. Schell, DVM, DABVT, DABT, Senior Toxicologist, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, Illinois ; David G. Schmitz, DVM, MS, DACVIM (LA), Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University ; Norman R. Schneider, DVM, MSc, DABVT, Veterinary Toxicologist, University of Nebraska ; Cheryl L. Waldner, DVM, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

Poisoning occurs when a toxic substance is swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed after coming in contact with the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes. Poisoning is also called toxicosis or intoxication. Because pets are unable to tell whether a substance is poisonous or not, they are often poisoned by eating something toxic, such as antifreeze or a poisonous plant. Pets can also be poisoned by a sting or bite from a venomous insect or snake, or even by a well-intentioned owner giving human drugs that are poisonous to animals.

An animal can be poisoned after a single exposure (with effects most pronounced during the first 24 hours) or after repeated or prolonged exposure to a poison. All toxic effects depend on the dose—the amount of poison present—and on the species. A small dose may be undetectable and have no harmful effects, while a large dose can be fatal.

* This is the Veterinary Version. *