Updated August 12, 2017 at 3:23 PM

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POISONING poison is any substance harmful to the body. Animal baits are palatable poisons that encourage ingestion. This makes them an obvious choice for intentional poisoning.Dogs are curious by nature and have a tendency to hunt small game, or explore out-of-the-way places such as woodpiles, weed thickets and storage ports. This puts them into contact with insects, dead animals and toxic plants. It also means that in many cases of suspected poisoning the actual agent will be unknown. The great variety of potentially poisonous plants and shrubs makes identification difficult or impossible unless the owner has direct knowledge that the dog has eaten a certain plant or product. Most cases suspected of being malicious poisoning actually are not.In some types of vegetation, only certain parts of the plant are toxic. In others, all parts are poisonous. Ingestion causes a wide range of symptoms. They include mouth irritation, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucination, seizures, coma and death. Other plant substances cause skin rash. Some toxic plants have specific pharmacological actions that are used in medicines.The following tables of toxic plants, shrubs and trees are included for reference.Poisonous Houseplants Toxic Houseplants:A. That give rash after contact with the skin or mouth:ChrysanthemumPoinsettiaCreeping figWeeping figPot mum > might produce dermatitisSpider mum > might produce dermatitisB. That are irritating to mucus membranes (toxic oxalates); the mouth especially gets swollen; painful tongue; ore lips:Arrowhead vineBoston ivyCollodiumDrunk caneEmerald dukeHeart leaf (philodendrum)Marble queenMajestyNeththytis ivyPathosRed princessSaddle leaf (philodendrum)Split leaf (philodendrum)C. That may contain a wide variety of poisons. Most cause vomiting, abdominal pain, cramps. Some cause tremors, heart and respiratory and/or kidney problems, which are difficult for owners to interpret:AmaryllisElephant earsPot mumAsparagus fernGlocal ivyRipple ivyAzaleaHeart ivySpider mumBird of paradiseIvySprangeri fernCreeping CharlieJerusalem cherryUmbrella plantCrown of thornsNeedlepoint ivyOutdoor Plants with Toxic EffectsA. Outdoor plants that produce vomiting and diarrhea in some cases:DelphiniumPoke weedIndian tobaccoDaffodilBittersweetWisteria Castor beanwoodySoapberryIndian turnipGround cherry Skunk cabbageFoxglove LarkspurB. Trees and shrubs that are poisonous and may produce vomiting, abdominal pain and in some cases diarrhea:Horse chestnutWestern yewApricotBuckeyeEnglish holly almondRain treePeach cherryMonkey podWild cherryAmerican yewBird of paradiseJapanese plumEnglish yew Black locustBalsam pearMock orangePrivet C. Outdoor plants with varied toxic effect:RhubarbButtercupMoonseedSpinachNightshadeMayappleSunburnedPoison hemlockDutchman's potatoesJimsonweedTomato vinePigweedMescal beanLocoweedWater hemlockLupineMushrooms trumpetDologetonAngel's JasmineMatrimony vineD. Hallucinogens:MarijuanaNutmegPeyoteMorning gloryPeriwinkleLocoweedE. Outdoor plants that produce convulsions:ChinaberryMoonweedWater hemlockCoriaria Nux vomicaIf you think that your dog may have been poisoned, the first thing to do is try to identify the poison. Most products containing chemicals are labeled for identification. Read the label. If this does not give you a clue to its possible toxicity, call the Poison Control Center.Poison Control Centers are located throughout the United States and Canada. All available information on the toxic ingredients in thousands of medicines, insecticides, pesticides and other registered commercial products has been placed confidentially in the centers by the government in these Poison Control Centers. It is estimated that 1,500 new items are added each month. The local Poison Control Center's telephone number is listed in the front of most telephone directories. Alternately, you can call the emergency room of your local hospital and ask them to request the information that you require.The first step in treatment is to eliminate the poison from your dog's stomach by making it vomit. The second step is to delay absorption of the poison from the dog's intestinal tract by coating it with a substance that binds it. This is followed by a laxative to speed elimination.Note: Do not induce vomiting or give charcoal by mouth if your dog is severely depressed, comatose, unable to swallow or experiencing seizures. Before proceeding, consult Vomiting, How to Induce in this chapter.How to Delay or Prevent Absorption1.Mix activated charcoal (one tablet to 10-cc water). Give one teaspoonful per two pounds body weight and follow with a pint of water. Depending upon the dog's condition, this may need to be given by stomach tube. Veterinary assistance usually is required.2. Thirty minutes later, give sodium sulphate (Glauber's salt), one teaspoonful per ten pounds body weight, or Milk of Magnesia, one teaspoonful per five pounds body weight.Note:If these agents are not available, coat the bowel with milk, egg whites or vegetable oil and give a warm water enema.If your dog has a poisonous substance on the skin or coat, wash it well with soap and water or give a complete bath in lukewarm (not cold) water, as described in the SKIN chapter. Even if the substance is not irritating to the skin, it should be removed. Otherwise, the dog may lick it off and swallow it. Soak gasoline and oil stains with mineral or vegetable oil. Work in well. Then wash with a mild detergent, such as Ivory soap.When signs of nervous system involvement begin to show, the dog is in deep trouble. At this point, your main objective is to get your dog to a veterinarian as quickly as possible.