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What is Household Cleaners Poisoning?

Pets have a naturally curious nature that can sometimes put them in danger. Accidental ingestion, inhalation or dermal exposure to products kept around the house for cleaning purposes can occur when our dogs use their noses and mouths to explore. With household cleaners such as bleach, the consumption of the liquid or the inhalation of fumes can cause irritation of the respiratory tract, eyes, throat, and skin. Injuries like lesions and burns can result with an exposure to cleaners containing corrosives. Symptoms of household cleaners poisoning can range from mild to serious with signs such as diarrhea, excess salivation, abdominal pain and mild to severe vomiting. Many poisoning agents work very rapidly; immediate veterinary care is essential for a positive outcome.

Household cleaners can present a danger to our pets when inhaled or consumed in any amount. These products typically contain bleaches and corrosive ingredients which can cause serious ulceration, burns, or irritation to the mucus membranes, gastrointestinal system, respiratory passageways, eyes, and skin.

Household Cleaners Poisoning Average Cost

From 49 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,700

Symptoms of Household Cleaners Poisoning in Dogs

The symptoms of household cleaners poisoning can be mild with a light exposure, ranging to extreme with an ingestion, dermal or ocular exposure, or inhalation. Symptoms from two types of cleaners are listed here.

Corrosives

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Thirst
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Blue mucus membranes
  • Redness of skin and tissue damage
  • Inflammation and sores on the eyes
  • Inflammation of the oral cavities
  • Lethargy
  • Shock

Bleaches

(extent of symptoms will depend on how much is ingested or inhaled)

  • Vomiting and retching
  • Coughing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Irritated red skin
  • You may hear lung sounds

Your pet may vocalize the pain and there will likely be burns and ulcerations where you cannot see, such as the throat and esophagus.

Types

Household cleaners can include toilet bowl cleaner, pine oil, drain cleaner, rust and calcium removers, and disinfectants.

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Causes of Household Cleaners Poisoning in Dogs

  • Household cleaners can come in a concentrated form, making the damage they inflict very severe
  • Solids (like granular drain openers) stick to the skin and membranes causing localized damage and burns
  • Liquids can be ingested in large amounts and can also be aspirated causing airway injury and aspiration pneumonia
  • Many toxic substances are rapidly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract
  • Canines can be exposed dermally and then inflict further damage by grooming the poisonous product off the fur
  • Inhalation of a household cleaner can produce visible signs such as difficulty breathing but may also cause hidden signs (like extensive fluid buildup in the lungs) that may not become evident until serious damage is done
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Diagnosis of Household Cleaners Poisoning in Dogs

If you suspect that your pet has come into contact with a household cleaner, having him seen by a veterinarian is necessary. Even though your dog may not be exhibiting signs of distress, he may not be displaying the true effects, or the damage has not yet reached the full extent. Many products cause immediate damage but in same cases, for example inhalation of a cleaner, the effects of the poison continue to work into the day after the incident. 

Because of this fact, you should not delay in taking your pet to the clinic immediately and bring along the packaging if possible. Doing so will give the veterinary team helpful information as to what substances they are working with. You may want to call the emergency center or poison control hotline to see if there are any steps you could take at home, right away, before bringing your dog to the clinic. You may be instructed to remove your pet from the fumes, or to wash the skin and fur gently to remove the product. Diagnosis at the clinic will be made based on the clinical signs that your dog is displaying, the information you can provide on the poisoning incident, and other signs that may be evident (such as your dog smelling like bleach).

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Treatment of Household Cleaners Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment may vary greatly depending on the type of household cleaner and the way the poison affected your dog (oral, dermal, inhalation, ingestion). If your dog has taken in a cleaning agent orally, the veterinary team will work to stabilize him by the administration of fluids, pain medication, anti-inflammatories, and if needed, antibiotics. The veterinary team will also monitor renal function. In severe cases, where a household cleaner has cause extensive damage to the stomach, the veterinarian may decide that a tube should be inserted into the wall of the stomach to enable healing while allowing for nutritional needs.

If your pet’s eyes were injured by a cleaning product, the eyes will be flushed with a saline solution. The veterinarian will also examine the eyes, specifically the cornea, and treat as needed for ocular damage. Topical ointments will be prescribed for burns to the skin. For inhalation injury, respiratory therapy will be needed, and in some cases, fluid in the lungs or aspiration pneumonia could be consequences that will require attention.

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Recovery of Household Cleaners Poisoning in Dogs

Your dog will be able to go home once he is stabilized and the extent of the damage has been determined, and once the supportive measures have been fulfilled. There may be special considerations you need to be aware of for the near future, such as special feeding requirements if there was extensive oral, esophageal or stomach ulceration. Your veterinarian will advise you on how to care for your furry family member over the coming days and weeks. At least one follow-up appointment will be needed in order for the veterinary team to assess the healing process. Patience and extra care will be required on your part as will extreme diligence with all products in and around the home that can present a danger to curious young children and pets.

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Household Cleaners Poisoning Average Cost

From 49 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,700

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Household Cleaners Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Labrador Retriever

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Seven Years

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Unknown severity

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6 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Gagging

Think he might have licked drain cleaner. Gave some pure pumpkin & tepid water. Ate some grass no vomiting Barking at birds

Nov. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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6 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Drain cleaner can be very caustic, but if he licked a small amount, or it was very dilute, he ma be okay. If he is acting normally otherwise, it would be a good idea to soften his food for a day or two to make sure that his mouth is not painful, and examine the inside of his mouth carefully for any ulcers or areas that appear abnormally inflamed. If he continues gagging, or you see ulcerations or sores in his mouth or on his tongue, or he does not want to eat or drink, then it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Nov. 27, 2020

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Min Pin

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Eight Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Noisy Breathing

She is over hyper lots of water will not settle down very agity

Oct. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Kate D. MA VetMB MRCVS

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0 Recommendations

Hello, Thank you for contacting us about your dog. I am sorry that she is unwell. I can see that you are concerned she may be suffering some kind of household cleaner poisoning. If you believe she may have had access to a toxic substance, and is now behaving abnormally, I would advise you to take her to the emergency vet clinic immediately. Sometimes, if caught early enough, it is possible for the vet to induce vomiting and reduce how much of the chemical she absorbs; and in all cases of poisoning, there are better results if treatment is started as early as possible. If you can, take the package of the cleaning product you think she has consumed so that the vet can assess the ingredients and determine which one might be related to your dog's symptoms. I hope she feels better soon.

Oct. 28, 2020

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German Shepherd

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Three Months

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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

He woke up around 2am a threw up about 3 cups worth of vomit. Then again around 3am but only about a half a cup. Then again around 3:30am he threw up about 5 tablespoons. Then around 4:30am another 5 tables. And he just threw up yellow foam at 4:45.

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Puppies are prone to parasites and infectious diseases. 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. 18, 2020

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Rottweiler

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4 months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None Yet

My dog got a hold of Clorox disinfecting foamer, and I'm not sure how much she digested. Do I take her to the vet immediately? Or have her drink water.

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is feeling better. If they are 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 any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 25, 2020

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Golden Retriever

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

My dog ate soap and detergent scrub bath cleaner

Aug. 4, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Depending on how much of the detergent your dog ate, and how long ago, your dog may need Veterinary attention. It would be best to either take your dog to your veterinarian right away, or call a pet poison control hotline, and give them the ingredients and amount of the detergent that was eaten. They can let you know if that amount or type of detergent is a problem. I hope that everything goes well with your dog.

Aug. 4, 2020

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Malla

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Labradoodle

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4 Months

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

Today, my 4 month old labradoodle puppy who is about 22-23 pounds was found chewing two scrunchies that had recently been sprayed with lysol. Since this time she has eaten dinner, had water, and gone for a short walk. She behaved typically during these activities, but has recently (3 hours after encounter with Lysol) became very lethargic. Her breathing appears fairly normal, however. How long is recommended to monitor her for poisoning symptoms? Our vet is closed so I can’t call until tomorrow morning.

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Jasmin

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Whippet

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9 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing

In these virus days our locals sprayed the city with desinfectant. I think she inhaled the substance. I think they sprayed chlorina. She is coughing and vomited 2 times. The veterinarians are closed in our city.what should i do?

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Sparky

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Shih Tzu

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9 Weeks

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing

We sprayed lysol in our living room and there is a high chance our shih tzu puppy may have inhaled some of it. He began sneezing and drank a lot of water. Is he going to be ok?

Household Cleaners Poisoning Average Cost

From 49 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,700

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