Background: There are two types of intoxicated patient that present to veterinary practices: the asymptomatic patient with a known exposure and the patient with clinical signs that may (or may not) be due to a toxin or poison. Deciding when (or if) to treat these patients is often an inexact science and the decision must be made based on numerous risk factors, the owner’s level of comfort with risk and any financial constraints.
Aim of the article: This article is the first in a series of four and aims to provide a basic overview of the approach to decontamination of an asymptomatic patient presented with a known intoxication. It also outlines therapies that may be considered in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, and these will be discussed in more detail in future articles.
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