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Dog Food Poisoning

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Dog Food Poisoning

When a dog is hungry, there is very little that it will not eat. For this reason, food poisoning is more common in stray dogs than it is in domesticated dogs.

Causes of Food Poisoning in Dogs

Food poisoning is caused by a variety of bacteria. Staph, Strep, Escherichia coli, Dog Salmonella Poisoning and other toxic bacteria. This enters the body through the ingestion of garbage, compost and spoiled foods. Moldy foods can cause another type of poisoning, penitrem-A.

Course of the illness

Once your dog eats any of the toxins, their intestinal tract goes into overdrive. This results in a multitude of symptoms including central nervous system symptoms, increased motility in the intestinal tract and weakness. Each bacterium may have a different symptom, but any can lead to the death of your dog due to the failure of their bodily functions and organs.

Penitrem-A produces symptoms similar to strychnine poisoning. Primarily uncontrolled nerve stimulation which can lead to the injury of the muscles and a decrease in body temperature.

Signs and Symptoms

Within three hours the animal will show signs of poisoning. Some of the symptoms that are most common are Dog Vomiting, bloody Dog Diarrhea (most of the time), Dog Fever, collapse and a decrease in urine production.

Penitrem-A poisoning will manifest as restlessness, drooling, panting and tremors.

What you should do

Call your veterinarian and get your dog to the clinic. Do not induce vomiting. The difference between survival and death may well be the time it takes you to seek the proper treatment for your dog.


Your veterinarian will most likely do a gastric washing and administer some activated charcoal. Intravenous fluids will be administered. Oxygen and medications to reduce nausea and vomiting will be administered. If your dog has tremors or has progressed to Dog Seizures, additional medications will be required.

Often antibiotics will be administered intravenously. This is a bacterial infection and antibiotics are necessary. It is also possible that the antibiotics will be continued for a normal course of treatment.

In the event of suspected botulism, there are special antitoxins that will be given to the dog.


The best term to describe the prognosis is guarded. It all depends on several factors:

  • How serious were the symptoms when it was determined that the dog had food poisoning.
  • When did the treatment begin?
  • What type of toxin is causing the poisoning?


As with any illness, the best preventative measures need to be taken. Your dog should not have excess to trash. This includes kitchen trash cans, bathroom trash cans and those in your yard. All of your trash cans should have lids that are dog proof. If you have a well trained dog, that knows the trash is not a dinner bowl, you may be one step ahead.

Take no chances if you suspect food poisoning. It acts quickly. When your dog vomits more than once, or has repeated episodes of diarrhea, it is time to take action. You may want to call your vet with your suspicions.

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