Friday, January 13, 2012

What do to if your dog / cat ingests poison

I apologise that it has taken me a few days to get to writing this post, but this is because I have been waiting for confirmation on the suspected poisonings in Hurghada. Although it seems that the mass poisoning in Maadi I previously blogged about may have been government sponsored, we are as of yet unable to find any proof indicating the same for Hurghada.

What we seem to have in Hurghada is a few possibilities. Individual residents lying poison out on the road, shop or restaurant owners trying to clear their immediate area of strays, or government vets lying the poison out. As the government vet who would be responsible for placing poison in and around the city is currently on vacation, it's safe to say he is not involved in any cases of poison around here.

This leaves 2 options, individual residents or business owners. Now bear in mind that strychnine is not something you can readily get your hands on. To purchase this poison it is often necessary to go through a dealer and can end up quite costly - making it an unlikely option for many. The next poison of choice is readily accessible and available, and just as deadly. I'm talking rat poison.

Remember that these poisons are thrown into the street on meat - meaning your dog can snatch up a piece very quickly without you even noticing. Fortunately there are signs to watch out for if you suspect your dog has ingested poison.

  1. Make sure that you have an emergency vet contact in your phone or somewhere handy. I have provided a list of vets in the Hurghada area, and would personally recommend Dr. Mohammed Taieby, who will always respond to an emergency case - and I cannot make the same statements about all the vets on the list. 
  2. Your dog or cat will begin to exhibit symptoms of poisoning quite rapidly. If you notice your pet is extremely agitated and excitable, more so than usual, keep a close eye on them.  
  3. Seizures are a common symptom of ingestion of poison, be it strychnine or rat poison (often one and the same). Doctor Dog describes the seizures as: "during which the dog throws the head back, can't breathe and turns blue. The slightest stimulation, such as tapping the dog or clapping the hands, starts a seizure. This characteristic response is used to make the diagnosis."
  4. Other symptoms include drooling, muscle spasms, loss of coordination, collapsing. 
  5. If you start noticing your pet seizing or spasming, contact your vet IMMEDIATELY. The faster the veterinary medical response, the higher chances your pet has of surviving. Strychnine, NOT rat poison will induce these spasms.
  6. Often you will be told to try to induce vomiting in animals that have been poisoned. This is CRUCIAL information. IF YOUR DOG IS ALREADY SPASMING, TRYING TO INDUCE VOMITING CAN EXACERBATE THE SITUATION AND CAUSE FURTHER SEIZURES. Wrap the animal in a warm blanket and transport to vet IMMEDIATELY. 
  7. If you have not yet noticed signs of seizures but still fear that your animal may have ingested poison, you can induce vomiting. To induce vomiting in dogs, there are two websites you can check out here and here. I do not want to post how to induce vomiting in cats, please consult your veterinarian to find out how. 
Remember time and speed are your only allies when it comes to potential poisoning of your pets. If you are very worried about walking your animals outside, muzzle them to avoid potential ingestion. It is not fair to lock the animals inside rather than walk them - why should they be tortured and have to pay for human cruelty. 

For vets in the Hurghada area, please find contact numbers below. (Thanks to Anca for preparing the list you see below!) I would like to add to this list for vets around the country, if you have more recommendations PLEASE add to the comment section below. Please also feel free to share your stories of your pets that have been poisoned. The more that we collect the information on the poison and the areas it is being laid, the stronger case people have to bring to the government and demand an immediate resolution to the problem. 

1. Smart Vet Clinic, Dr Mohamed El Taieby,
Mobile No. 0163828100 
24 Hour Emergencies. I will give directions to the Clinic as the road hasn't got a name
Located just off of Maderis (School) Street, across from the Supermarket Beit el-Maleka or the Seagull Retail Clothing shop.

2. Blue Moon Animal Shelter
Doctor Veterinarian Girgis Kamal (Tel.: 0164693169).
Mubarak 1 Nr. 14, Apt.7
Tel.: 010 5490046

3. Dr. Sameh Shata
Plot 95, Old Public Beach Panorama Hotel Road
Dahar, Hurghada
Tel: 065-3544009, 012-1664628 Fax: 065-3544009

4. Dr.Mohamed Atef
PawsandClaws Veterinary Clinc, next to Dreams Beach
Services offered: Vaccination, Flea and insect control, Spay and neuter, Small and large surgeries, Orthopedic surgery, X ray, Fetal dubler, Toxoplasma check, Laboratory exam, Health certificates, Worming program, Grooming
Tel: 0176077576



  1. this is very sad. I am sorry to hear this really.

  2. Yestarday, we had two poisonned dogs in our street , we could save them to help immediately because we had in our pocket one siringe with ATROPHIN , this is very important 1ml.every 15-20 kg, weight dog. After that we called Dott.Ahmed Ismail also avalieble 24 hours for emergency , he comes by car directly to the customer,immediately,in Hurghada and out ...El Gouna for example than if you like add him in your list .Telephone number : 01002218112-
    In the opinion of Doctor Sahmer and Dott. Ismail ,to have this siringe with us and make one ml.of Atrophin in the pupu muscle of the dog ,it is so important to save him like first aid