Dogs who scavenge come into contact with garbage, decomposing food, and carrion, some of which contain endotoxins produced by bacteria and molds. Once ingested, these endotoxins are absorbed and poison the dog. Signs appear within two to six hours. They include an acute painful abdomen accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea (often bloody). The dog may have noticeably bad breath. Shock and death can occur in severe cases.
Treatment: If you see your dog eating garbage or a dead animal, immediately induce vomiting. Follow with liquid Pepto-Bismol; give a dose every 12 hours for two days. Administer by plastic syringe (see page 572 for more information on administration and dosage). If you have trouble getting the liquid into your dog, use the tablets. Try to keep your dog well hydrated. Mild cases recover in one to two days. If the dog begins to vomit or develops other signs of poisoning, notify your veterinarian.