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While veterinarians are constantly treating vomiting in their patients, they seem to love to induce it too! One common “error” seen at Pet Poison Helpline is not knowing when not to induce emesis. Remember, if the patient is already symptomatic (e.g., ataxic, depressed, seizuring, etc.), emesis induction is likely too late (but check with a poison control first, as sometimes gastric lavage is still recommended!). If a product contains a hydrocarbon (like gasoline, kerosene, brake fluid), emesis is typically contraindicated due to the high risks of aspiration pneumonia. Finally, corrosive agents (like drain cleaners, lime-away agents, etc.) cause corrosive damage going down - and coming back up - and patients who ingested these shouldn’t have emesis induced. When in doubt, check with Pet Poison Helpline to make sure it’s warranted before you reach for that bottle of hydrogen peroxide or apomorphine!
Here are a few contraindications for inducing vomiting (this list is not all-inclusive, and appropriate medical assessment must be made of the patient):
Pet Poison Helpline has many critical resources on pet poisonings, some of which we've worked with Wedgewood Pharmacy to compile for you in one eBook. Download the eBook from the Resources for Veterinarians section of WedgewoodPetRx. Additionally, you can attend webinars for CE credit. Register for the next online presentation at PetPoisonHelpline.com. Pet Poison Helpline will be guest blogging here for a few weeks to share with you this important information on treating pet poisonings.
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The information contained on this site is general in nature and is intended for use as an informational aid. It does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the medications shown, nor is the information intended as medical advice or diagnosis for individual health problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of using a particular medication. You should consult your doctor about diagnosis and treatment of any health problems. Information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), nor has the FDA approved the medications to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.
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