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What is Gasoline Poisoning?

Gasoline poisoning in dogs occurs when dogs come in contact with aliphatic hydrocarbons, which are commonly known as butane, methane, propane, and gasoline. Gasoline is a readily-used substance in which dogs can become into contact with, especially if it is not stored properly in the home of the dog or on the property in which the dog resides. Garages, outdoor sheds, workshops, and around vehicles and lawnmowers are places where dogs can come into contact with gasoline. Dogs should also be watched in gas station parking lots, car repair shops, and on unfamiliar grounds.

Whether the gasoline is consumed, inhaled, or has had contact with the skin, illness can occur anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours after contact, depending on the mode of contact. Dogs can come into direct contact with this harmful substance either inside or outside of the home where gasoline has not been properly stored or spilled. If a dog is outdoors or in a garage area and steps on a spill or a leak from a container, the dog may lick his paws when grooming and become exposed in that way. Another means of exposure can come from the dog’s curiosity of an open container. If a container of gasoline is open in a room without ventilation, the dog can inhale the fumes. Gasoline is highly vaporized and is a hydrocarbon with a low molecular weight, which makes it quite toxic when inhaled alone, and has a high level of irritant which can immediately affect pulmonary function.

Gasoline poisoning in dogs is a result of the ingestion of gasoline, either by inhalation or by consumption. This type of poisoning in dogs can be caused by many forms of aliphatic hydrocarbons, such as gasoline.

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Gasoline Poisoning Average Cost

From 38 quotes ranging from $500 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,500

Symptoms of Gasoline Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms of gasoline poisoning in dogs can occur immediately after ingestion. Specific symptoms and severity depend on the quantity of gasoline consumed. Symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Gagging
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Ulcers in the mouth
  • Drooling
  • Shaking of the head
  • Pawing at the mouth area
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Lesions on the skin
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Confusion
  • Loss of motion
  • Collapse
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat

Types

Gasoline poisoning has a higher chance of occurring if the dog is living in an environment where gasoline is not properly stored or has accidentally leaked. Once taken to the veterinarian, it is very helpful to the treatment of your dog if you suspect or know that your dog came into contact with gasoline. Differential diagnoses of gasoline poisoning can include:

  • Pneumothorax
  • Chylothorax
  • Ingestion of ethanol
  • Ethylene glycol poisoning
  • Trauma
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Causes of Gasoline Poisoning in Dogs

The cause of gasoline poisoning begins with the dog consuming or inhaling gasoline. Once in the dog’s system, gasoline:

  • May aspirate into the lungs
  • May dissolve within the lipids in the fats and remain stored in the tissues that possess high amounts of lipids, including the liver or nervous tissue
  • May be metabolized within the body into a byproduct that is further toxic, such as benzene
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Diagnosis of Gasoline Poisoning in Dogs

If your dog has any of the symptoms of gasoline poisoning, or if you suspect your dog has gotten into this chemical, it is important to immediately call your veterinarian. Once you have arrived at the veterinarian’s clinic, he will immediately assess the dog, looking at all clinical signs. He will ask questions about the dog’s history and the probability of him ingesting or inhaling gasoline. The dog may also have gasoline odor around his muzzle area or on his paws

The veterinarian will perform tests on the contents of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, liver, and lungs and will perform a chemical analysis on the samples to identify any hydrocarbons in the tissues. The identification of the hydrocarbon, or gasoline, in addition to the clinical signs the dog is showing will lead the veterinarian to a definitive diagnosis of gasoline poisoning.

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Treatment of Gasoline Poisoning in Dogs

Once the diagnosis of gasoline toxicity has been made, there are several procedures your veterinarian may conduct to help the dog. Treatment methods include:

Releasing Gas Pressure

The veterinarian will need to insert a tube into the stomach if the dog has any bloat. This procedure is quite risky because the stomach tube may force the contents through the lining of the abdomen and that work is contained within, which is known as the peritoneal cavity. This can result in aspiration. 

Oxygen Therapy

The dog may require oxygen and ventilation if he is suffering from an acute respiratory condition due to the inhalation of gasoline fumes. If this is done, the ventilator will need to be replaced frequently due to the inhalation of volatile hydrocarbons.

Antibiotics

If the dog is suffering from a bacterial infection in the respiratory tract, he may be given an antibiotic of broad-spectrum form. The aspirated contents of the stomach that are mixed with the dangerous hydrocarbons can cause pathogens to enter the lungs. 

Cleansing

If your dog is suffering from gasoline poisoning on the skin, the veterinarian will remove the toxic agent using an abundant amount of cool water and soap or another type of mild cleanser.

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Recovery of Gasoline Poisoning in Dogs

Once your dog has successfully been treated for gasoline toxicity, the prognosis is good. In some serious cases of severe damage to the lungs, prognosis is very guarded and often poor. Recovery depends on your dog and the severity of the poisoning. After being monitored for approximately 24 hours, your veterinarian may allow you to take your dog home. He will give you detailed guidelines on how to care for your dog at home and will alert you as to what to watch for in terms of symptoms and behavioral changes. He will also want to see the dog soon after treatment to be sure he is making progress in healing properly. It is important to remove access to gasoline to prevent this from happening. Be sure to properly store all gasoline, either in a garage where the dog cannot enter, or in another storage facility.

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Gasoline Poisoning Average Cost

From 38 quotes ranging from $500 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,500

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Gasoline Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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cheweenie

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Eight Years

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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

Licking Lips,Loss Of Appetite And Loss Of Drinking Water

She is drinking water only 2 X's a day but acts like she doesn't want it the same with food she wants to eat but she keeps smelling it actually she doesn't want to eat it but then when she takes the first bite she scarves it down and she's been eating just 2"s a day she keeps licking her lips like if we were before we vomit but she has not vomited and I don't know if she had a stroke or not but it seems like her head is like lopsided like one ear is heavier than the other and she does want to gag sometimes after she drinks her water she's been in a car with me constantly while it's running allnite

Dec. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello so sorry to hear that your dog isn’t feeling well. The head tilt could be an ear infection or could be a stroke. Not eating and drinking has me worried about inner ear infection that would cause them to be dizzy and nauseated. It would be best for you vet to look in her ears to see if she if she has an infection and why she isn’t feeling good.

Dec. 27, 2020

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Chihuahua

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Eight Years

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Unknown severity

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4 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

We think he drink gasoline

July 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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4 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear about your dog. If he drank gasoline, your dog needs to go to the vet right away. This can cause a lot of issues that need to be dealt with at your vet's office. I hope your dog starts to feel better soon.

July 30, 2020

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Gasoline Poisoning Average Cost

From 38 quotes ranging from $500 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,500

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