To me, this is one of the most important things to have in your First Aid kit (for your pets and yourself) – activated charcoal capsules.
I’ve shared this information in the past (on TruthaboutPetFood.com) but it is worth repeating. I feel strongly that every household should have them in their medicine cabinet or first aid kit because – I’m confident activated charcoal saved my little dog’s life.
I prepare my pets food myself – 2 dogs, 4 cats. And the food is cooked – lightly cooked. But even though my pets get all home prepared pet food, a year or two ago my little dog (8 pounds) suddenly got very, very sick. Vomiting and diarrhea. A trip to the vet and several hundred dollars later, the assumption was made he had some type of bad bacteria in his gut. He was put on antibiotics for 10 days which helped, until day 11. Exactly one day after the antibiotics ended, he was very, very sick again. Kirby had some type of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
My veterinarian wanted to put him on a different antibiotic. Instead, I took the advice of a friend that suggested I give the little guy activated charcoal. I was told he would be better within 30 minutes. I rushed to the health food store, returned home and gave Kirby one capsule. Had I not seen it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it. He was very sick, head and tail low. 30 minutes later – he was head and tail held high, trotting around the house just like himself.
“Activated charcoal adsorbs a chemical or toxicant and facilitates its excretion via the feces. It basically acts like a magnet, attracting and holding the toxicant to its surface so that it passes through the gastrointestinal tract without being absorbed by the body. It is administered when an animal ingests organic poisons, chemicals or bacterial toxins or if enterohepatic recirculation of metabolized toxicants can occur. Enterohepatic recirculation occurs with some compounds that are metabolized in the liver. The metabolites are emptied in the bile and are reabsorbed in the intestines, which would allow for a persistent pharmacological effect. The recommended dose of activated charcoal for all species of animals is 1-3 gm/kg body weight. Repeated doses of activated charcoal every 4-8 hours at half the original dose may be indicated when enterohepatic recirculation occurs.
Activated charcoal can be given orally with a large syringe or with a stomach tube. In symptomatic or uncooperative animals, anesthesia may be needed. A cuffed endotracheal tube should be used in the sedated or clinically depressed animal to prevent aspiration.
Activated charcoal should not be given to animals that have ingested caustic materials. These materials are not absorbed systemically, and the charcoal may make it more difficult to see oral and esophageal burns. Other chemicals that are not effectively absorbed by activated charcoal include ethanol, methanol, fertilizer, fluoride, petroleum distillates, most heavy metals, iodides, nitrate, nitrites, sodium chloride, and chlorate.”
For me, I am a firm believer in activated charcoal capsules. I’ve taken them myself when I felt I had a food poisoning – and it helped me within minutes. The brand of activated charcoal I use is Country Life (purchased at a health food store) – 260 mg (4 gram). Kirby – my little 8 pound dog – was given a dose of one capsule that first day, and repeated on the second day.
Please consult with your veterinarian before giving your pet activated charcoal.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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