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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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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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0 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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Jack Russell Terrier

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

I was cleaning the counters and didn't realize their bones where there and accidently sprayed them with lysol on the sides. I rinsed it off immediately. These were very expensive bones. And then he ate one yesterday. Me and my husband got in a huge fight last night which caused him to be scared out of his mind he's a sensitive baby. Today he keeps vomiting and eating grass, and foaming. Is this because of the potention Lysol or because he was so upset from us fighting.

July 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. It isn't likely that he is vomiting as a result of stress, but it may be due to the Lysol. It is hard to say how much he may have eaten since you washed it off, but if he is continuing to vomit this morning, he has a problem, regardless. It would probably be best to have him seen by your veterinarian, as they can examine him and give medications to stop the vomiting. I hope that all goes well for him.

July 25, 2020

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Shih Tzu

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Stopped Eating 2 Days Ago

My dog stopped eating 2 days ago now. Took him to the vet today and they did xrays. Didn't see anything bad but wasn't sure that she didn't see anything that wasn't. He did eat a couple small pieces of chicken tonight without throwing them back up.

July 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. There are medications that can help get dogs eating again if they don't feel well, and if your veterinarian did not prescribe anything and your dog is not improving, it would be a good idea to call and let them know that things are not getting better and see what medications they think may help. I hope that he is okay.

July 25, 2020

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English Bulldog

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Eight Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Nonexistent

I think my dog may have drunk a little water that had wood cleaner in it.

July 23, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear that you are having problems. Many times depending on how concentrated the water was you may not see anything. Some common signs that you may see are vomiting and diarrhea. If you notice any of these signs, it would be best for your vet to see your dog. You may be able to just monitor your dog and they are just fine. I hope your dog stays well.

July 23, 2020

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Cavachon

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Six Years

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Unknown severity

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No Symptoms

Just want to know if if my dog sniffs some cleaner which I don’t think he did because he doesn’t smell like it like cleaner on the ground will he be in any bad ideas or ya im not sure. It’s method purpose lime spray.

July 22, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Ellen M. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, thank you for your question. I'm not entirely sure whether you mean that you are concerned that your dog may have licked some cleaning product, or inhaled it. If inhaled, it could cause some mild respiratory irritation, but should not be serious unless your dog was breathing it in for a while. If ingested, it could be toxic in high enough amounts. I recommend watching your dog closely for any signs of coughing, sneezing or gagging, which could indicate irritation from inhaling fumes from the cleaner. If you notice this, please call an emergency veterinary clinic and let them know what is going on to see if they recommend having her seen. If you think she may have ingested some of the cleaner, I recommend calling an emergency veterinary clinic or Pet Poison Helpline. I hope that all is well with your dog!

July 22, 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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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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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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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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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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