Journal Scan: Apomorphine and 3% hydrogen peroxide—is one agent better for inducing emesis in dogs?
What they did
Information was gathered from the medical record database of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) between January 2008 and April 2009. Callers were instructed to induce emesis (if medically indicated) by using either apomorphine (0.03 mg/kg intravenously once, or a crushed tablet dissolved in saline solution, instilled in the conjunctival sac, and rinsed away with water or saline solution after emesis) or 3% hydrogen peroxide (2.2 ml/kg orally, 45 ml maximum, repeated once after 10 to 15 minutes if vomiting did not occur). Unless the dog had already eaten within the preceding two hours, feeding a small meal before the induction of emesis was also recommended to improve success.
What they found
The authors also remind us that owners may not consult with a veterinary professional before administering an emetic and may give an incorrect dose or repeatedly and excessively attempt to induce emesis, induce emesis in patients that have ingested an agent that has antiemetic effects, or induce emesis in patients that have ingested agents for which inducing emesis would be contraindicated (caustic agent, CNS stimulant, hydrocarbon or petroleum distillate).
However, when used appropriately and under veterinary supervision, both apomorphine and 3% hydrogen peroxide provide similar efficacy for the induction of emesis with comparable risk of adverse effects, which were described as typically mild and self-limiting.
Khan SA, McLean MK, Slater M, et al. Effectiveness and adverse effects of the use of apomorphine and 3% hydrogen peroxide solution to induce emesis in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2012;241(9):1179-1184.
Abstract available at: http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/javma.241.9.1179