Quarterly Newsletter

2014-August_IVG Newsletter-Toxicology-Interventional Analgesia

The IVG Hospitals Quarterly Veterinary Newsletter features articles of interest to the veterinary medical community, written by veterinarians and veterinary specialists at our four locations.

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In the case of exposure to less common over the counter products and human pharmaceuticals, the owner can be encouraged to contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control or the Pet Poison Helpline in order to determine whether medical attention is necessary. A brief summary of any past pertinent medical conditions and current medications should also be recorded at initial presentation to determine if there are potential medication interactions or a predisposed sensitivity. Once this information is known, the next step is to decide which method of decontamination is most appropriate, then initiate treatment with supportive therapies and applicable antidotes. GENERAL METHODS OF DECONTAMINATION Methods of decontamination include: • Induction of emesis and gastric lavage • Dilution of corrosive substances affecting eyes and skin • Disruption of gastrointestinal absorption via administration of activated charcoal and cathartics. Activated charcoal at an initial dose of 3-5 g/kg can be administered in certain toxicities in order to bind the active ingredient. Subsequent doses of activated charcoal without a cathartic should be administered at a dose of 1-3 g/kg every 6-8 hours if the toxin consumed undergoes enterohepatic recirculation. EMESIS In instances of known ingestion occurring 1-2 hours prior to presentation, the owner can be instructed to induce emesis at home via administration of 1-2 ml/kg of fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide. The maximum dose per dog should not exceed 50 ml, and emesis should not be induced in the following cases: • Where corrosive substances have been ingested • Where mentation is decreased • When the animal is already vomiting • If a recent abdominal surgery has been performed • If the animal's preexisting conditions place them at an increased risk for aspiration. Emesis induction in feline patients and animals with a documented history of cardiovascular disease is often best performed at the time of presentation. Client use of other household emetics such as salt and syrup of ipecac should be discouraged due to potential for electrolyte derangement and cholinergic effects, respectively. Toxicology Review and Update, 2014 Fielding phone calls regarding potential household toxicants and caring for animals experiencing related symptoms is a common part of both emergency and general practice. During any potential case of toxin ingestion or exposure, the first step is to obtain as much information as possible about the patient's exposure history, including the nature of the substance, route and time of exposure, amount ingested and the weight of the animal. Rachel Morgan, DVM completed her internship in Emergency and Critical Care at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn, MA, in July 2014. Rachel Morgan, DVM | 1 | Sarah E. Allen, DVM, DACVECC practices at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn, MA. Dr. Allen is the Program Supervisor for the Mass Vet Fellow program. Sarah E. Allen, DVM, DACVECC

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