Asthma Inhaler Poisoning in Dogs

Asthma Inhaler Poisoning in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Asthma Inhaler Poisoning in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Asthma Inhaler Poisoning?

Asthma and other respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, affect the airways in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Coughing, tightness of the chest, and wheezing are a few of the symptoms caused by asthma and related illnesses. Various circumstances besides the disease itself can cause flare-ups with breathing, including very cold weather, pollen and other allergens either outside or inside, or chemicals.

Albuterol is a very common medication given to patients with asthma. This medication comes in the form of an inhaler or a liquid that can be put into a nebulizer. It can also be taken orally in pill form or in the form of syrup. Albuterol is a bronchodilator that prevents or eases the harsh symptoms of asthma and related illnesses by opening up the airways in the lungs. Individuals who are prescribed albuterol take it several times a day depending on the severity of their asthma and the dosage of their medication.

Asthma inhaler poisoning in dogs can happen when dogs ingest asthma inhalers by puncturing or consuming them. The active ingredient in asthma inhaler is a bronchodilator, known as albuterol, and is toxic when ingested by dogs.

Asthma Inhaler Poisoning Average Cost

From 58 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$350

Symptoms of Asthma Inhaler Poisoning in Dogs

When a dog assumes an inhaler containing Albuterol, the symptoms depend on the amount consumed. Symptoms of asthma inhaler toxicity include:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Tachycardia
  • Bradycardia
  • Hypertension
  • Heart block
  • Heart murmur
  • Tachypnea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid breathing

Types

Asthma broncho-dilators all work in similar ways. There are several different types of inhaler solutions that can cause toxicity in dogs. They may also be formulated to be taken in liquid form or within a nebulizer. Types of asthma inhalers include:

  • AccuNeb
  • Proair HFA
  • Proventil HFA
  • Ventolin HFA
  • Metaproterenol
  • Levalbuterol
  • Pirbuterol
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Causes of Asthma Inhaler Poisoning in Dogs

The causes of asthma inhaler poisoning in dogs begins with the dog ingesting the ingredients of an asthma inhaler containing Albuterol. The specific causes of poisoning include:

  • The activation of adenyl cyclase (enzyme)
  • Bronchial, vascular, and uterine muscles dramatically relaxing
  • Negative effect on the heart and cardiovascular system
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Diagnosis of Asthma Inhaler Poisoning in Dogs

It is very important to take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as you see the above symptoms or if you see an inhaler that has been chewed by the dog. Once you take your dog to the veterinarian, he will want to see the actual inhaler and will ask questions regarding the ingestion of the substance. He will look at the dog’s clinical signs and will ask you when the symptoms occurred.

The veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination with laboratory tests that include testing the blood, serum potassium levels, checking the functionality of the kidneys, serum glucose level, and will listen to the dogs heart and check his blood pressure. He will also test for dehydration. The physician will also run tests for metabolic acidosis and the dog’s base excess of the pH balance of the blood.

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Treatment of Asthma Inhaler Poisoning in Dogs

Once the veterinarian has knowledge of the dog’s vital and clinical signs and makes the diagnosis of albuterol toxicity, treatment will begin. Treatment depends solely on the dog’s severity of the poisoning and precisely how it is affecting the dog. Treatment methods include:

Hospitalization

More than likely, the dog will be hospitalized and treated for many of the symptoms. While being hospitalized, the veterinarian may need to treat his tachycardia, monitor his electrolyte concentration, and give supportive care. 

Intravenous Fluids

IV fluids will be given in the form of Plasma-Lyte fluids which may be supplemented with potassium chloride, and beta-blockers. The veterinarian may also focus on the dog’s beta receptors, as albuterol will stimulate these receptors, and propranolol is the beta-blocking agent of choice. Propranolol may also be given to counteract any tremors, hypertension, arrhythmia, and other cardiac issues. Esmolol is another beta-blocker (adrenergic) that is ideal for controlling ventricular arrhythmia.

Monitoring

It will be important to get the dog’s heart rate down to a normal level. His heart rate, blood pressure, and serum potassium levels and phosphorus levels will be monitored for at least 18 hours. The veterinarian will decide when the dog’s levels are back to normal and when he can be released.

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Recovery of Asthma Inhaler Poisoning in Dogs

If the dog responds well to treatment, the prognosis for albuterol toxicosis is good. The symptoms will last for up to 48 hours, and perhaps longer if your companion has ingested greater amounts or has been severely affected. It may take some time to get the heart under control, and if the dog continues to develop arrhythmia or has any type of cardiac disease, the symptoms may last longer and the prognosis may be fair.

Once your dog is released from the veterinarian hospital, your veterinarian will give you the information you need to help care for your companion at home. If he is still developing symptoms or develops any new ones, it is very important to call your veterinarian. Helping your dog recover will take time and patience on your part; he will need to be closely monitored by you. The veterinarian will also want to see him for future follow-up visits and so he can check his signs to be sure he is recovering properly.

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Asthma Inhaler Poisoning Average Cost

From 58 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$350

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Asthma Inhaler Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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dog-breed-icon

Pit Bull terrier

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One Year

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7 found helpful

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7 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Breathing Difficulties And Shaking

how to treat a dog at home who has chewed an inhaler, and how long can they survive without treatment

Oct. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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7 Recommendations

I'm sorry, but this is not something that can be treated at home. Inhalers are highly toxic as they contain many doses of the medication so when a dog gets to it, they receive a potently toxic amount of the drugs. They need emergency care from a vet immediately. He may need to be put on a drip and to get medication to reduce a fast heart rate or high blood pressure.

Oct. 30, 2020

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Kaia

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Huntaway x Springer spaniel

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15 Months

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3 found helpful

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3 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Elevated Heart Rate
Vomiting
Shallow Rapid Breathing
Trembling

Hi, I have taken my female huntaway x springer spaniel to the 24hr vet after I found my chewed up inhaler with the canister missing. The vet checked her hr as I felt it was elevated, and induced vomiting to ensure she had not swallowed the canister. However he was not overly concerned and sent us home. Since returning home she continues to have quick shallow breaths and is trembling and I believe her heart rate is elevated (around 150bpm) conpared to her normal baseline.

July 14, 2018

Kaia's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3 Recommendations

Medications like albuterol may cause elevated heart rate, heart arrhythmias, hypokalemia among other symptoms; without examining Kaia myself I cannot say whether or not there is the need for concern, you should check in with your regular Veterinarian if you have any concerns. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/asthma-inhaler/

July 14, 2018

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Asthma Inhaler Poisoning Average Cost

From 58 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$350

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