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What is Detergent Poisoning?

There are many household items that are toxic to animals, including to our dogs. Many of the laundry detergents used within the home are toxic to dogs; however, they do not always show up on lists of cleaners that are poisonous. Ionic surfactants and anionic surfactants are in these products, and even when they are ingested in small quantities the dog can become sick. The dog will have several different symptoms depending on the detergent ingested, as well as the amount ingested. The first signs are usually upset stomach and drooling from the mouth. An item that doesn't often show up on lists of household products toxic to pets is laundry detergent. But it should, because most detergents and soaps contain ionic and anionic surfactants. When ingested in small amounts, these chemicals can cause GI upset in a pet, such as excessive drooling, vomiting or diarrhea.

Detergent poisoning in dogs is the result of a dog ingesting detergent, or other household cleaners, at a quantity where it becomes toxic. Detergent poisoning in dogs must be treated at the very first sign of ingestion of the product or when symptoms begin to occur.

Detergent Poisoning Average Cost

From 49 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Detergent Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms of detergent poisoning may slightly vary, but they are very obvious and a veterinarian must be seen as soon as possible. Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal lesions
  • Lack of appetite
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Burns or lesions in the mouth
  • Excessive watering of the mouth
  • Disorientation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Seizures
  • Collapse
  • Eye irritations
  • Skin irritation
  • Hair loss

Types

They are many detergents on the market today and they are divided into categories. Types of detergents include:

  • Soaps, such as for laundry and bathing
  • Anionic detergents, such as dish soap, dishwashing detergents, and shampoos
  • Cationic detergents, including disinfectants, fabric softeners, and sanitizing agents
  • Nonionic detergents, such as shampoos, dishwashing detergents, and laundry detergents
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Causes of Detergent Poisoning in Dogs

The cause of detergent poisoning in dogs is from the ingestion of anywhere from a small quantity to large amounts of household detergent. The ingestion of this product as well as the dermal or ocular exposure to it can cause extensive damage to the eyes, mucus membranes and skin. A pet can walk through a detergent spill and then lick the substance from the paws or fur, extending the damage from one type to all three (oral, ocular and dermal).

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Diagnosis of Detergent Poisoning in Dogs

It is very important to not induce any vomiting if you suspect or are definite that your dog has ingested detergent. You may flush out the mouth or skin thirty minutes with running water, or if it has gotten into the eyes, flush the eyes with water for twenty minutes. It is a good idea to be doing this after you have called the veterinarian to communicate with the physician that you are bringing your dog in for an appointment. Once the veterinarian learns more about with the dog may have ingested, or definitely swallowed, he will begin acting immediately. The physician may choose to do blood work or urinalysis if he is unsure of what is causing the symptoms, and he may do other tests to come up with a definitive diagnosis. More than likely, he will know the diagnosis is detergent poisoning by his symptoms and by hearing from you the type of detergent which the dog ingested.

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Treatment of Detergent Poisoning in Dogs

Specific treatment is unavailable and it will depend on the type of detergent and the amount that the dog swallowed. There is no antidote; supportive care may be needed in the form of intravenous fluids and medications such as gastroprotectants and antibiotics, needed because of the corrosive nature of the product. A small amount of laundry detergent that was ingested will have a completely different mode of treatment than a large amount ingested. Treatment also depends on the type of toxic agent that the dog swallowed, such as cationic, nonionic, or anionic. The veterinarian will determine the method of treatment as he finds more information and the specifics of the poisoning. How long your pet will remain in the hospital will depend on the severity of the effects of the toxin and whether measures like respiratory assistance or tube insertion (for the stomach in the event of burns and ulceration) are necessary.

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Recovery of Detergent Poisoning in Dogs

Detergent poisoning has a prognosis of fair to good, and this prognosis depends on the detergent involved and amount ingested. Most dogs that receive treatment as soon as possible will recover. To prevent future poisoning events, it is important to keep all detergents and cleaning products out of the dog’s reach when he is at home alone. It is also important to always know where your dog is within the home and to keep an eye on him.

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Detergent Poisoning Average Cost

From 49 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

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Detergent Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Maltese,terrier,long-hair chiuaua,mini pin

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5-6 weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting, Sluggish, Wont Eat Or Drink

my puppy is really sick throwing up not waanting to eat or drink after ingesting dawn dish soap what can i do to help him

Aug. 26, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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0 Recommendations

I'm sorry to hear this and appreciate your concern. As your puppy is so very young, this is a true emergency as puppies this age will quickly become dehydrated and develop low blood sugar sugar vomiting. A vet visit is needed and your pup may require intervention including fluids and anti sickness medicine. I would seek help right now.

Aug. 26, 2021

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Pitbull Lab

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1 year

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Face, Hives, Throwing Up, Liquidy Stools, Bright Red Blood In Stools.

Our dogs face was swollen. We give him Benadryl so we did (we gave him tab and 1/2 Of 25mg tabs). He threw up very liquidy. He began getting hives. He began to look better the hives got better and his face was a little less swollen. He was still playing with our puppy and acting a little like himself. He pooped which had solid forms mixed with liquid that contained a small amount of blood I took him for a walk he was not pulling which he normally does and he pooped very runny and it contained bright red blood. He had been Drinking lots of water

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that he is feeling better and that allergic reaction has resolved. If he is still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 15, 2020

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Detergent Poisoning Average Cost

From 49 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

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