Today's Veterinary Practice

JUL-AUG 2014

Today's Veterinary Practice provides comprehensive information to keep every small animal practitioner up to date on companion animal medicine and surgery as well as practice building and management.

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Page 25 of 83 Today's Veterinary Practice July/August 2014 24 A number of new or improved therapeutic approaches are being applied in the field of veterinary toxicology—some extrapolated from human medicine and others based on anecdotal experience. Most veterinarians feel comfortable treating the poisoned patient, and are familiar with the common toxicants accidentally ingested by dogs and cats. However, in order to improve the quality of care and overall success in treating critically ill, poisoned patients, veterinary professionals need to be familiar with recent developments in toxicology. Some recent updates involve the following aspects of therapy for poisoned pets: • Use of correct emetic agents • Indications for gastric lavage • Monitoring for hypernatremia • Role of intravenous lipid emulsion. THE CORRECT EMETIC AGENT In veterinary medicine, aggressive decontamination is the mainstay therapy for poisoned patients. If emesis is warranted, the use of appropriate, effective, safe emetic agents is imperative. Emetic agents typically work by causing local gastric irritation and/or stimulating the central nervous system chemoreceptor trigger zone (CRTZ). 1,2 Emesis should not be induced: • In patients exhibiting clinical signs of poisoning, such as agitation, tachycardia, tremors, hypoglyce- mia, or sedation • If the patient has ingested a toxin for which emesis induction is contraindicated (eg, corrosives, hydrocarbons) • After 1 to 2 hours of toxin ingestion, if the toxicant is thought to have moved out of the stomach. Therapeutic Updates in VeTerinAry Toxicology Justine A. Lee, DVM, Diplomate ACVECC & ABT VetGirl ( Peer reViewed

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