Fireworks Poisoning in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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

What is Fireworks Poisoning?

Fireworks can be very dangerous to the curious or unwary pet. Not only is there a risk of injury or burns from the gunpowder going off, but the ingredients within explosives can also be toxic as well.

Metals such as copper and zinc are often used to create the spectacular colors of fireworks, and can be detrimental to your dog’s health. Ingestion of any amount of explosives should be considered an emergency, so contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet has ingested any part of a firework.

Fireworks Poisoning Average Cost

From 27 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$350

Symptoms of Fireworks Poisoning in Dogs

Some symptoms of fireworks poisoning, such as burns and vomiting, will most likely occur immediately upon ingestion. Other symptoms, such as jaundice, uncoordinated movement, and diarrhea, may take several hours to present.

Symptoms of fireworks poisoning in dogs include:

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Causes of Fireworks Poisoning in Dogs

Some of the toxins that may be present in fireworks include:

  • Aluminum: Adds silver and white colors
  • Barium: Adds green color 
  • Chlorine: Used as oxidizers
  • Copper: Adds blue color
  • Iron: Creates sparks
  • Lithium: Adds red color
  • Magnesium: Adds a brilliant white color
  • Potassium nitrate, chlorate, or perchlorate: Common oxidizers
  • Sodium: Adds yellow color
  • Zinc: Used to create smoke effects
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Diagnosis of Fireworks Poisoning in Dogs

If you suspect your dog has ingested all or part of any firework, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet will perform a physical exam and begin supportive care right away. If you have any portion of the firecracker that has not been ingested, bring that with you to the vet as well as any remaining packaging.

The vet will likely pay particular attention to the abdominal area to locate any palpable remnants or blockages. Blood, urine, stool, and vomit may need to be tested to identify the toxins and determine the severity of the condition and the best course of treatment. If a blockage is suspected, x-ray or ultrasound imaging may be recommended.

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Treatment of Fireworks Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment will depend on how the fireworks have affected your pet and the amount of time that's passed since ingestion.

If the fireworks were ingested recently, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to prevent future blockages and absorption of any toxins. If it has been longer, a large fibrous or bulky meal, such as sweet potato or pumpkin, may be recommended to help push the toxins through the system with minimal absorption. 

Severe symptoms will require supportive treatment. This may include IV fluids for dehydration and medications prescribed to alleviate specific symptoms. These medications may be given either orally or via injection and could include any combination of gastroprotective, anti-nausea, or pain management medications.

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Worried about the cost of Fireworks 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 Fireworks Poisoning in Dogs

Your dog's prognosis will depend on the amount of toxin ingested, the composition of the explosive, and the amount of time between ingestion and treatment.

Keeping your dog in a quiet and calm environment and giving their medication exactly as prescribed will help encourage a speedy recovery.

Medications such as laxatives, stomach protectants, and antacids may be prescribed to combat further symptoms, and your dog will likely need more frequent potty breaks than they normally would. Your vet may also schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your pup for signs of mercury or heavy metal poisoning.

Fireworks poisoning can be expensive to treat. To avoid high vet care expenses, secure pet health insurance today. The sooner you insure your pet, the more protection you’ll have from unexpected vet costs.

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Fireworks Poisoning Average Cost

From 27 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$350

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Fireworks Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Bernese Mountain Dog

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Three Years

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9 found helpful

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9 found helpful

Has Symptoms

None

Cought sniffing and licking a spent firework cardboard a couple inches long found in my yard.(neighbor I guess?) I took away still had grey pepples in it. Do i need to induce vomit

July 30, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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9 Recommendations

From your description, I would not think that you need to induce vomiting at this point. The spent fireworks are not typically toxic unless a large amount are ingested and it does not sound like that happened. It would be best to monitor your dog closely over the next 24 hours first signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite, and if any of those happen, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian right away. I think, given your description, though, your dog should be okay.

July 30, 2020

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Pit Bull/Doberman/Great Pyrenees

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Seven Months

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4 found helpful

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4 found helpful

Has Symptoms

None

Chewed an unused sparkler

July 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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4 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Those can be quite irritating to the GI tract. If you notice any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or loss of appetite, it would be best to have your puppy seen by a veterinarian right away for treatment. I hope that all goes well for your pup!

July 25, 2020

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Fireworks Poisoning Average Cost

From 27 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$350

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