Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide poisoning in dogs occurs when the odorless gas is inhaled and absorbed into the bloodstream. Gas or smoke that leaks from engines, fireplaces, and kerosene or propane equipment builds up quickly in low-ventilated areas like garages and covered patios. Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells, and prevents the blood from carrying oxygen to the brain and heart. Low oxygen levels can quickly result in coma or death. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is produced from fires, car exhaust, and outdoor generators. Carbon monoxide is toxic to all species. When inhaled in high enough concentrations CO causes oxygen starvation (e.g., hypoxia) to the cells of the body.

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Average Cost

From 57 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include one or more of the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Red lips, ears, and gums
  • Incoordination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse
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Causes of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs

Sources of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide gas can include:

  • Automobile exhaust
  • Barbecue grills
  • Gas fireplaces
  • Gas water heaters
  • Kerosene lanterns
  • Kerosene space heaters
  • Ovens
  • Propane heaters
  • Furnaces
  • Burning buildings
  • Airplane cargo space

Any slow gas leak or smoke in areas of poor ventilation (rooms without open windows or vents and moving air) can expose pets and people to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

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Diagnosis of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs

Diagnosis is based on symptoms and possibility of exposure to carbon monoxide. Your veterinarian will want to know where the pet was throughout the day, whether carbon monoxide sources were nearby, and whether other pets or family members are experiencing similar symptoms. Pets having difficulty breathing or collapsed pets will be treated with oxygen and supportive therapy immediately, prior to diagnosis.

Blood analysis can determine increased creatinine kinase levels and low blood pH (acidosis), both seen with carbon monoxide poisoning. Carboxyhemoglobin levels in the blood will be elevated.

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Treatment of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs

If you suspect your pet has been exposed to carbon monoxide gas, move him to an open space with fresh air immediately. If your pet has no observable pulse or heartbeat or has collapsed and you are properly trained, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). It is important to transport your pet to the vet as soon as possible for supportive care.

The goal of treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning is to re-oxygenate the blood as quickly as possible.

Oxygen therapy

Your veterinarian will begin oxygen therapy immediately using a breathing mask or oxygen chamber. Oxygen levels may be monitored using a pulse oximeter.

Intravenous fluids

Oxygen deprivation causes the blood to become acidic. Intravenous fluid therapy can aid in bringing the blood pH back to normal.

Respiratory support

A ventilator may be required to bring a pet to a stable condition over a longer period of time.

Depending on the severity of carbon monoxide poisoning, your pet may need to be hospitalized until symptoms reside and blood oxygen levels are normalized. In mild cases that are treated early, the pet should recover fully. In cases of chronic exposure to carbon monoxide gas, or in cases of severe poisoning, the pet may not be able to be stabilized or harbor long-term side effect to the brain.

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Worried about the cost of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Recovery of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs

Follow up appointments may be necessary to determine complete recovery from carbon monoxide poisoning. After your pet arrives home, physical activity should be limited for 3-4 weeks. Rest and proper diet and water are good for healing.

Check all equipment for gas leaks and install carbon monoxide monitors to ensure the problem has been taken care of. Carbon monoxide gas has no color, no odor and is not irritating. Without a carbon monoxide monitor, there is no way of knowing it is present until symptoms of sickness arise.

Keep all equipment that uses gas, kerosene or propane well maintained. Be sure there are no cracks in hoses. When performing maintenance, do so in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors and/or with fans to disperse any gas fumes.

Never to leave a pet in an enclosed space without some form of ventilation and airflow.

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Cost of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs

Once at the animal hospital, the veterinarian can begin oxygen therapy and monitoring the dog’s pulse and other vital signs. Oxygen therapy can cost $120 to $210 per treatment. When the blood has been depleted of oxygen, the blood becomes acidic and therefore needs to be regulated. Intravenous fluids would be administered and usually cost $40 to $80. The veterinarian may also see the need to put the dog on respiratory support (or a ventilator) if he is having trouble breathing. Your dog will need to be hospitalized until the blood and other vitals return to normal. This can cost $40 to $800 per day.

Carbon monoxide poisoning in dogs can be expensive to treat. To protect your dog and yourself in case of an accident or emergency, start searching for pet insurance today. Wag!’s pet insurance comparison tool lets you compare plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Embrace. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Average Cost

From 57 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$500

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Lhasa Apso

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Six Months

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Redness

My puppy inhale cooking gas for a least a hour. She’s moving around normal should I be worried

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I hope that she is okay.

Oct. 9, 2020

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Chihuahua

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Nine Years

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Green Vomit

My dog has been throwing up green after the stove leaked some gas we open the doors right away but we’re not sure if that’s what caused him to start puking green, he’s been active he’s been running around and he hasn’t lost his appetite at all we’re not sure if it was something he ate.

July 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear about your dog. If he has vomiting 6 to7 times, it would be best to see your vet. Small dogs can quickly become dehydrated. Your vet can prescribe your dog with medication to help him feel much better.

July 30, 2020

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Average Cost

From 57 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$500

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