Our pets are a big part of our lives and we worry when they are ill. Signs of poisoning can vary enormously depending on the substance involved, which can include medicines, household and garden chemicals, plants and fungi. In some cases signs of poisoning are mild and will settle in a few hours but in other cases veterinary care may be required. 

Animal PoisonLine is available 24 hours a day and your call will be answered by one of our veterinary poison specialists who will advise you whether you can look after your pet at home or if you need to take your pet to the vet.

If you think your pet may have been poisoned or eaten something they shouldn’t, call us to get advice on what to do next. If your pet is showing serious signs such as collapse or convulsions (fitting), contact your vet immediately.


Signs of poisoning can be very variable but can include:

·         Gastrointestinal signs such as salivation, vomiting and diarrhoea.

·         Effects on the skin including irritation, redness and pain.

·         Signs of kidney impairment include vomiting, excessive drinking or urination or reduced urination, bad breath, loss of appetite.

·         Signs of liver impairment include yellow discoloration of the gums, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, lethargy and collapse.

·         Signs of internal bleeding include lethargy, pale gums, blood in the vomit and collapse.

·         Other signs may include twitching, tremor and convulsions (fitting).

Remember that in many cases the effect of a toxic exposure may not be immediately apparent - your pet may appear well initially, even after a toxic dose. For some poisons rapid treatment can be life-saving.