Orange Grove Veterinary Hospital
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What should I do if my pet eats something he shouldn’t?

I have worked at Orange Grove Vet for over six years & had the opportunity to observe the goings-on of a veterinary hospital. I have always admired how our veterinarians and support staff deal with emergency cases such as when an animal has been hit by a car or suspected poisoning. These situations require immediate medical attention and our veterinary team have to think fast while staying calm and keeping a level head.

Never did I expect my own pets (Caleb & Nav-ah) to be in a situation where they needed emergency care. For as long as I can remember, I have been told chocolate* is bad for dogs. Now to find out your own pet (or pets) may have consumed chocolate (and probably in quantities which were not safe), I felt helpless. Unable to go home to fetch them, I instructed my dad to take the dogs to the vet immediately!

*Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine which is toxic to dogs in certain quantities. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine and in sufficient quantities, can produce muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding, or a heart attack.

When my dogs and dad arrived at the Orange Grove Vet, practice manager Nicola, vet nurse Vanessa and veterinarian Dr. Lara were confused to see them in reception without me. My dad informed them about the chocolate and the dogs were rushed through for immediate treatment. They were given medication to induce vomiting. Within minutes the culprit was found – Caleb began vomiting up chocolate with ALL the wrappers too! Poor Nav-ah was an innocent bystander and just vomited up her breakfast! Long story short, both dogs are now fine, with Caleb needing to be on activated charcoal for three days to prevent any residual theobromine from metabolizing in his body.

The moral of my story is that no one’s pets are angels, they get up to nonsense which can get them into trouble.

Here are my top household dangers for pets:

1. Chocolate
2. Alcohol
3. Cooked bones & leftovers
4. Xylitol (in some brands of peanut butter and other sweet foods)
5. Onions and garlic
6. Grapes & raisins
7. Medications
8. Cleaning products
9. Many garden plant species e.g Cycads, Lilies
10. Garden chemicals e.g fertilizers and pest control

If you suspect your pet has ingested anything which may be harmful, contact or take them to your vet immediately. For any emergencies outside of these hours please contact Bryanston Veterinary Hospital on (011) 706 6023/4/5.

Thank you to my amazing friends at Orange Grove Vet for taking care of my pooches and ensuring they received the emergency treatment required.

Candice Segal
Marketing Manager