Salt (sodium chloride), although a natural substance that is needed by the body, can cause severe toxicity if ingested in large quantities. Most cases on salt toxicity involve ingestion of seawater, homemade play-dough, table salt, stock cubes and gravy products or dishwasher salt.
Salt toxicity also occurs in some cases when owners attempt to use salt as an emetic (to make their pet sick) after they have ingested something else considered to be poisonous. Giving salt to your pet is not a safe way to make them sick and in many cases where it has been used in the past, the salt was far more problematic than the original ‘toxic substance’.
High levels of sodium do certainly result in vomiting, alongside diarrhoea, depression, lethargy, tremors, excessive thirst and dehydration. There may also be weakness, in-coordination and wobbliness as well as high blood pressure. In severe cases muscular rigidity, seizures, coma and kidney failure can occur.
If you are worried that your pet has ingested a large amount of salt, you can call Animal PoisonLine on 01202 509 000. Vets can call us on 02073 055 055 for treatment advice.