Poison Management

General Services

Poison Management

If you think your pet has ingested a poison, please ring our clinic immediately on 028 7776 9777 to arrange for an emergency appointment. Time is of the essence in trying to save your pet from a suspected poisoning.


Why do we use VPIS

VPIS is the only 24 hour specialised emergency telephone service in Europe dedicated to providing information on the management of actual or suspected poisoning in animals and provides support to subscribed veterinary professionals worldwide.

Is your veterinary clinic subscribed?

We have access to expert case specific advice. With 22 years of continuous service, over 200,000 cases and extensive research, VPIS can deal with the effects of thousands of toxic substances in small animals, livestock, exotics, or wildlife.

VPIS covers substances such as human drugs, household products, plants, agro‐chemicals and venomous animals.

VPIS supports All Creatures so we can help achieve the best outcome for your pet for each enquiry we speak directly with a trained veterinary information scientist who covers the risk assessment for that toxin and species, the anticipated clinical effects, and the idea treatment protocol, along with prognostic advice.

VPIS provides CPD training for our vets, vet nurses and undergraduates, and offers online CPD training.

Our experience in dealing with poison cases at All Creatures means we can make a diagnosis as quickly as possible and offer the best possible antidote as quickly as possible.

We are able to induce vomiting rapidly to help bring up recently ingested poisons such as rat poison and have facilities to carry out gastric lavage. We have medications to manage convulsions and are able to set up intravenous fluids rapidly to prevent shock and try and flush out any poisons rapidly.

We carry a range of antidotes for specific poisonings as well as activated charcoal.

Signs of poisoning in pets

  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blindness
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Collapse
  • Coma
  • Constipation
  • Convulsions
  • Dullness and weakness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dilated pupils of the eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excitement
  • Blood in the urine
  • Incoordination, staggering around, loss of balance
  • Jaundice (a yellow colour of the eyes, skin and gums)
  • Muscle tremors
  • Paralysis
  • Excessive salivation
  • Vomiting

Common poisonings we see at All Creatures Vets, Limavady

  • Permethrin flea treatment, this is available in many forms in petshops and supermarkets. It can be deadly when dog flea treatments are applied to cats by mistake. Cats exposed to this become overexcited, have fits and go into a coma. Get safe flea prevention treatments from your vet.
  • Metadelhyde, this is used in slug pellets, even “pet friendly” slug pellets and will cause seizures and death. Do not use slug pellets in your garden if you have pets.
  • Rat poison, this contains warfarin which can make your pet bleed internally. Sometimes a pet can be exposed to the poison by eating a rat or mouse which has ingested the poison. Put your rat bait into small pipes that only the rat or mouse can access and keep the tub well out of reach.
  • Human medicines eg ibuprofen, paracetamol, small doses of paracetomol can kill a cat. Do not be tempted to use human medications in your pet as many of them are very dangerous. Always store human medicines in a cupboard well out of the reach of your pet and children.
  • Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) will cause your pet’s kidneys to fail. Pets sometimes drink it if the car radiator has been drained over the garage floor.
  • Chocolate contains a stimulant called thiobromine which can cause cardiac arrhythmias and coma in dogs. Never leave chocolates unattended when your pet is around.
  • Grapes, raisins and sultanas can cause kidney failure in dogs
  • Cannabis accidentally ingested will cause overexcitement and drooling in pets
  • Plants, many household and garden plants are poisonous to pets. Problematic plants include lilies, rhododendron, daffodils, foxglove, poinsettia, laburnum, dumb cane, tulips, English ivy and oleadar
  • Nicotine ingestion from cigarettes or artificial cigarette refills or nicotine patches can be deadly in pets
  • Laundry pods, just do not use these if you have a dog or young children.
  • Onions, can cause a serious anaemia in pets. They contain a chemical which destroys the red blood cells in pets.