April is National Pet First Aid Awareness month and it's the perfect time to do an annual check of our supplies and make sure we have on hand anything we may need to take care of our Cavalier. This is particularly important with puppies as they have a tendency to get in to mischief whenever possible. Below you will find a copy of the AKC first aid checklist to help you build your supply closet.
This is also a great time to brush up on some of your first aid skills to make sure you can help your puppy or dog in case of emergency. Our favorite skill is learning how to induce vomiting and then understanding when and most importantly, when you should not use this skill.
Ingestion of toxic foods, plants or items is one of the most common dangers in dogs and Cavaliers are no exception. Knowing how and when to induce vomiting can prevent costly trips to the vet (and even death). Here are the basics to remember:
1) WHAT YOU NEED: 3% hydrogen peroxide and a large syringe (without the needle), turkey baster or similar mechanism to force the peroxide down the dogs throat.
2) HOW MUCH TO USE: 1 teaspoon for every five (5) pounds of your dog's weight. For most Cavaliers, three (3) teaspoons is more than enough.
3) WHEN TO USE IT: Hydrogen peroxide is only useful to induce vomiting of a food or substance that has been consumed within the last two hours or less. This method works great when your dog or puppy has eaten a few grapes, snuck a piece of chocolate from the kid's trick-or-treat bag or chewed a portion of your peace lilly when you weren't looking. If you come home and find an empty chocolate wrapper on the floor but have no idea what time your dog ingested the food, proceed immediately to the vet. If you see your dog consume the dangerous food or substance and it's been less than two (2) hours, proceed with this method and consider a trip to the vet if the entire amount is not expelled in the vomit.
4) WHEN NOT TO USE THIS METHOD: Please read this list carefully before inducing a dog to vomit and NEVER use this method in any of these situations:
5) WHAT TO DO NEXT: If you've deemed it safe to induce vomiting at home, simply fill the syringe with the measured amount of peroxide and force it down the dogs throat. It may take 5-10 minutes, but your dog will almost always throw up whatever they've eaten. Stay with your dog this entire time and be prepared to help them clear their mouth or throat of any large objects. Keep a close eye out after they've finished vomiting to make sure they aren't having any trouble breathing and expelled everything they ingested. If there are any issues, be prepared to head directly to the vet or emergency vet if after hours.
Knowing how and when to quickly induce vomiting in dogs has saved shelters, breeders, and owners from expensive and unnecessary trips to the vet. Having this tool in your arsenal can help save your pet and prevent significant liver damage if they've ingested a toxic food and you catch it quickly. Many people live hours from the vet or their pet chooses to pull this stunt long after the local vet is closed. Safely inducing vomiting is a skill worth learning and this page is one worth saving.
All of our puppies are sent home with this information and we educate our puppy owners in knowing how to save their precious pets; however, we are not veterinarians. Our veterinarian is familiar with and approves this practice but we remind everyone to PLEASE consult your vet if you have any questions about your dog and a specific item, plant or food they have ingested.
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