Dogs should be taken to the vet if poisoned, not treated with at-home remedies
A post circulating widely on Facebook claims that if dogs ingest poison, feeding them two raw eggs will “neutralize” the toxins. This is false; experts urge pet owners to take their dogs to a veterinary clinic immediately.
“If your dog is poisoned, even while it is getting convulsions, immediately throw 2 raw eggs down his throat with little water. The eggs form a chemical compound with the poison that neutralizes it! Your dog will get up after a minute and walk away like nothing happened”, reads the caption of the Facebook post.
The post has been shared more than 14,000 times in South Africa, India, and Australia since it was published on February 9, 2021.
Similar claims have circulated online for years, including this video posted on Facebook in 2018.
This claim is false, however. Jean Gouws, a veterinary surgeon at Johannesburg’s Greenside Animal Hospital, confirmed that raw eggs should not be used to treat poisoned animals.
“There is no binding agent in raw eggs that can extract poison from dogs”, Gouws told AFP Fact Check in an email.
Christelle Junot-Decosne, a veterinarian at France’s Clinique Vétérinaire des Quatre Vents, agreed.
“Absolutely not”, she told AFP Fact Check.
Junot-Decosne noted that this myth could stem from “an ancient custom” used to treat nutrient deficiencies in pets.
"Some seizures might have nutritional causes, amongst which an amino acid deficiency. In this case, the nutrients contained in egg yolks may help”, Junot-Decosne said.
However, Junot-Decosne emphasised that eggs should not be used to treat poisoned animals. In fact, pet owners should not give anything to a dog having a seizure.
"It is strongly not recommended to feed a dog when he convulses. He may vomit or regurgitate, and it may pass into his lungs where [the poisoning] might get more serious," she said.
The best treatment is to take a poisoned pet to a veterinary clinic immediately. Every minute counts, Junot-Decosne emphasised.
"A seizure is a level one urgency”, she said. “It's not something that you can deal with at home. You need to bring the dog to a suitable emergency structure".
There are several steps that veterinarians follow to treat pets who have ingested poison. Severe cases require a stomach pumping, as when humans are poisoned.
According to Gouws, medical experts try to “control the convulsions first, then treat the poison [with the corresponding drugs] after identifying the type of poison”.
If a dog ingests poison, urgent care is required immediately. At-home remedies, such as feeding the dog raw eggs, are not effective.