Once the foreign object that choked your puppy is removed, there may be damage to the inside of its mouth or throat. This can take many days to heal and may also make it hard or painful for the puppy to eat its regular food. If necessary, soften your dog's normal diet by running it through the blender with warm water.
It’s a good idea to have your puppy checked out by the veterinarian, even if your first aid manages to get rid of the choking hazard. Your puppy may have bitten its own tongue or the inside of its mouth, or the foreign object could have left abrasions or done potentially more serious damage. These injuries might require you to give your puppy medication to help prevent infection, manage swelling, and reduce pain.
Gagging - pets
If your pet ingests something potentially toxic, usually one of the quickest ways to help them is to induce vomiting. Many pet parents will take matters into their own hands here, and after searching the internet for resources, will attempt to induce vomit at home. When we suspect that our furry friends are in danger, it makes sense to want to act quickly, but, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) warns pet parents that trying to induce vomiting in your pet at home can be dangerous. There are many myths and a large amount of misinformation available to pet parents on the internet, and APCC wants to make sure you have the facts you need.
Dangerous At-Home Remedies
There are various household items and methods that APCC has seen pet parents try, but many of these should not be used and can potentially cause our furry friends more harm than good.
- Salt is a common ingredient people may turn to when attempting to induce vomit. However, ingestion of large amounts of salt can lead to dangerously high salt levels in your pet’s blood. This can cause your pet to walk unsteadily, develop tremors, seizures or even go into a coma. If these signs go untreated, excessive salt consumption can be life-threatening to pets.
- Gagging pets, or sticking a finger or an object down their throats will not make them vomit because pets don’t have the same gag reflex as humans do. This method could actually cause trauma to the pet’s throat or could lead to the pet biting someone out of discomfort or fear.
- Olive oil is also problematic for pets. If olive oil is given to pets, it can lead to greasy stools and pancreatitis. Even if they do end up vomiting after consuming the oil, it can lead to further complications (such as pneumonia) because the oil can be inhaled back into your pet’s lungs.
- It’s true that Ipecac can make pets vomit, however it is very unsafe and can lead to much more serious problems. Symptoms following Ipecac ingestion can include drooling, difficulty breathing, a drop in heart rate, abnormal heart rhythm and a potentially deadly heart condition.
Other common kitchen items and ingredients that are commonly thought to effectively induce vomit in pets include mustard, toast, water and milk. Although your pet might enjoy eating some of these, they unfortunately do not work when attempting to make your pet vomit.
So What’s the Safest Method?
The best thing you can do after a toxin ingestion concerning your pet is to immediately contact your veterinarian or APCC at (888) 426-4435. The only method that can be used to safely get a dog to vomit at home is by using hydrogen peroxide. But even when using peroxide, it needs to be done under the guidance of a veterinary professional because too much peroxide can be problematic. Contacting your local vet or APCC and explaining the type of toxin, the amount ingested and any other relatable information should always be your first step. That way, they can then advise you on whether or not you should bring your pet in, or if they think you can/should induce vomiting at home. Additionally, hydrogen peroxide should not be given to cats. It is too irritating to felines and can cause problems with their stomachs and esophagus. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be given at home to safely get a cat to vomit.
If you believe your pet has ingested something potentially toxic or seems to be having an adverse reaction to something, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately at (888) 426-4435 for assistance.
When to See the Vet
Make an appointment with your dog's doctor if:
- Their cough lasts more than a week, or worsens
- They seem extra tired
- They have a fever
- They won’t eat
- They have other health problems
Your vet may ask you some questions like:
- Does your dog have trouble breathing between coughing fits?
- When do they do it? (At night? After eating? After drinking water? After exercise? When they are excited?)
- What does it sound like? (A goose? A seal?)
- Is the cough dry or moist?
- Does it sound like they are about to vomit?
- Where has your dog been lately? (In a place with other dogs? With you on a family vacation? Around a smoker?)
- Have there been any changes to their daily routine?
- Are they up-to-date on their shots, and heartworm prevention?
- When did they last take their medication?
Your vet will examine your dog and run tests to find out if the problem is due to a virus, an infection, an allergy, or a different problem. The treatment will depend on the cause.