Life-Threatening Symptoms: 14 Red Flags You Must Address

Poisoning is a serious risk for both pets and humans, and it’s crucial to recognise the signs early. Various everyday substances can be toxic, and quick action can save lives. Here are 14 deadly symptoms of poisoning and the potential poisons to watch out for in the UK.

1. Vomiting

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Vomiting is one of the most common signs of poisoning. Substances like antifreeze, rat poison, and certain plants (e.g., lilies) can cause severe gastrointestinal upset.

2. Diarrhoea

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Diarrhoea, especially if it’s bloody, can indicate ingestion of toxins like chocolate, grapes, or household cleaners. Immediate veterinary attention is essential.

3. Seizures

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Seizures can result from exposure to toxic substances like slug pellets, pesticides, or certain medications. This symptom requires emergency medical care.

4. Excessive Drooling

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Excessive drooling can be a sign of poisoning from household products like detergents, certain plants (e.g., dieffenbachia), or insecticides. Remove the toxin and seek veterinary care.

5. Lethargy

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Lethargy and weakness can result from ingesting substances like ibuprofen, paracetamol, or certain foods like onions and garlic. These can cause damage to the liver or red blood cells.

6. Loss of Coordination

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Loss of coordination or staggering can be caused by antifreeze poisoning or ingestion of alcohol. Both substances are highly toxic and require immediate medical attention.

7. Abdominal Pain

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Abdominal pain can be difficult to detect in pets but may present as restlessness, whining, or refusal to lie down. Causes include ingestion of sharp objects, chemicals, or toxic foods.

8. Difficulty Breathing

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Difficulty breathing can result from inhalation of fumes, such as from bleach or ammonia, or ingestion of toxic plants like yew. Ensure the area is well-ventilated and seek emergency help.

9. Pale Gums

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Pale or blue gums can indicate poisoning from substances like rat poison, which can cause internal bleeding. This symptom is an emergency and requires immediate veterinary care.

10. Rapid Heart Rate

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A rapid heart rate can be a sign of poisoning from stimulants such as caffeine or certain medications. It’s essential to get to a vet quickly as this can lead to cardiac arrest.

11. Tremors or Shaking

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Tremors or shaking can result from ingesting nicotine, certain insecticides, or illegal drugs. These toxins affect the nervous system and need urgent treatment.

12. Increased Thirst and Urination

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Increased thirst and urination can be symptoms of antifreeze poisoning. Ethylene glycol in antifreeze is extremely toxic and often fatal if not treated immediately.

13. Unusual Behaviour

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Unusual behaviour, such as aggression or depression, can be a sign of poisoning from substances like lead paint or certain houseplants. Behavioural changes often indicate neurological impact.

14. Jaundice

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Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes, can indicate liver failure due to poisoning from substances like paracetamol. This is a critical condition needing urgent veterinary intervention.

Stay Alert and Act Fast

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Recognising these symptoms early can make all the difference in a poisoning situation. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, contact your vet immediately. For humans, call NHS 111 or visit the nearest A&E. Always keep potentially harmful substances out of reach, and educate yourself on the dangers lurking in common household items. Your vigilance can save lives.

The post Life-Threatening Symptoms: 14 Red Flags You Must Address first appeared on PawShore.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.