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What is Hydrocarbons Poisoning?

Hydrocarbons, compounds that are organic and made of carbon and hydrogen atoms, are commonly found in natural gas and in crude oil. These simple compounds can be poisonous to dogs if consumed, namely the refined petroleum products. Refined petroleum products are the aliphatic hydrocarbons which include butane, gasoline, methane, and propane, and aromatic hydrocarbons which include xylene, toluene, and benzene. Hydrocarbons poisoning in dogs is a result of the ingestion and aspiration of the agent, with the most common being chemical pneumonitis. Each type of hydrocarbon has a different level of toxicity; a minuscule amount of kerosene gasoline can cause aspiration, and other types, such as methane and propane are toxic in greater amounts.

Hydrocarbons poisoning in dogs is the result of consuming petroleum products, such as natural gas products in crude oil products. Poisoning can occur after ingestion or inhalation of this toxic agent.

Hydrocarbons Poisoning Average Cost

From 72 quotes ranging from $1,200 - $5,000

Average Cost

$2,100

Symptoms of Hydrocarbons Poisoning in Dogs

There are several different signs of hydrocarbons poisoning in dogs, and the severity of the symptoms depends on the type and amount ingested or inhaled. Symptoms can include:

  • Drooling
  • Ulcers in the mouth
  • Gagging
  • Coughing
  • Bluish skin coloration
  • Shaking of the head
  • Pawing at the face
  • Respiratory issues
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty moving certain limbs or body parts
  • Fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Arrhythmia
  • Tremors
  • Skin lesions or burns (if contacting the skin)
  • Collapse
  • Coma

Types

There are many types of common substances that dogs can easily come into contact with. Examples of hydrocarbons include:

  • Glue
  • Lacquer
  • Paint thinner
  • Fast-drying paint
  • Bath oil
  • Sunscreen
  • Kerosene
  • Gasoline
  • Motor oil
  • Mineral oil
  • Crude oil
  • Tiki torch fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Fuel
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Causes of Hydrocarbons Poisoning in Dogs

The cause of hydrocarbon poisoning in dogs varies slightly, depending on the precise type of hydrocarbon. These specific causes lead to high levels of toxicity and a multitude of symptoms which must be treated immediately. Causes include:

  • Red blood cell damage (benzene)
  • Severe neurological damage (toluene)
  • Lung tissue damage (gasoline and kerosene)
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Diagnosis of Hydrocarbons Poisoning in Dogs

If you suspect that your dog has come into contact with refined petroleum products, also known as hydrocarbons, take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will ask questions as to what type of substance he came into contact with; this will help the veterinarian make a diagnosis and to treat him quickly. If your dog vomited before the veterinary visit, it may help to take a sample so the veterinarian can test the substance.

The medical professional may test your dog’s blood for a complete blood count and a chemical blood test. He may also perform a urinalysis and test the dog’s electrolytes. He may also perform a chest x-ray to check lung function in the possibility of aspiration from the product. To further help the veterinarian in the diagnosis, he may be able to smell an odor that will give a clue as to what the dog came into contact with (if you are unsure of the product).

He will also take samples from the dog stomach and possibly do a fecal test. In addition to these samples, the physician may also collect samples from the kidneys, liver, lung for chemical testing.

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Treatment of Hydrocarbons Poisoning in Dogs

Once the veterinarian has made the diagnosis, treatment will ensue. If the dog only came into contact with the poisonous agent on the skin, a thorough washing with cool water and a mild detergent is the preferred method of treatment. If ingested or inhaled, treatment may include:

Releasing Pressure

If the dog has bloating from the gaseous substance, the veterinarian may use a stomach tube to release the pressure. This is risky, however, and may not be performed for fear of the substance entering the peritoneal cavity or aspiration.

Activated Charcoal

Depending on the type of hydrocarbon the dog ingested, activated charcoal may be used. It is not always effective in absorbing specific types of gaseous substances, such as gasoline; however, depending on what the dog ingested, the veterinarian may choose to use this method of treatment.

Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen therapy may be given if the dog has inhaled or aspirated on the substance. If the lungs are affected and breathing is difficult this is an effective method of treatment.

Antibiotics

If the dog has aspirated, there is a possibility of pneumonia. Pathogens can enter the lungs from stomach contents that have been aspirated and a broad-spectrum antibiotic may be given to help combat any infection.

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Recovery of Hydrocarbons Poisoning in Dogs

If your dog has been treated for hydrocarbon poisoning, the prognosis is good for recovery if the dog has shown no symptoms in 24 hours. Recovery depends on the severity of the poisoning and if the dog has suffered lung damage or other very serious issues due to the poisoning. Your veterinarian will communicate with you about your dog’s prognosis. Recovery also depends on how long the toxic substance remains in the tissues. Nervous tissue, liver, and fatty tissues will store the compounds, and this will depend on the amount ingested and the level of toxicity.

Your veterinarian will want to see your dog soon after he is released to recheck his vital signs and be sure he is recovering properly. If you have any questions about your dog’s recovery or any new symptoms he develops, it is very important to contact your medical professional.

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Hydrocarbons Poisoning Average Cost

From 72 quotes ranging from $1,200 - $5,000

Average Cost

$2,100

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Hydrocarbons 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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Shihtzu

dog-age-icon

Four 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

Vomiting

Did my dog get poisoned? He was exposed with the smell of paint thinner. Then I fed him kibble and about 2 hours later, He played so much and then few minutes, he vomited liquid with kibble. And then again after few hours

July 9, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

It may be that he has an upset stomach from the smell of the paint, or there may be something else going on with him. If he continues to vomit, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian. If this passes and he seems okay otherwise you should be okay to continue to monitor him. I hope that he is okay.

July 9, 2020

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Ghost

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Husky

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1 Year

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

None

My dog ingested an unknown quantity of CLP (gun cleaner). He’s acting fine, I’m not sure how long ago he ingested it-sometime within the last 8 hours. There was a good amount spilled on the carpet.

Aug. 7, 2018

Ghost's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

According to the MSDS from the manufacturer (linked below); gastric irrigation with activated charcoal is the recommended treatment, do not try to induce vomiting. You should visit your Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.safariland.com/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-tsg-Library/default/dwab9e7f53/product-pdfs/Break-Free_CLP_SDS_Sheet_Liquid.pdf

Aug. 7, 2018

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Roxy

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Dogo Argentino

dog-age-icon

10 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
Breathing Difficulties

My dog chewed on a cotton ball that had acetone on it but we were able to remove it from her mouth within seconds of her having it. How long do symptoms of vomit/diarrhea occur typically? Would she have any respiratory issues from it?

Feb. 5, 2018

Roxy's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. The small amount of acetone that Roxy would have ingested should not cause any signs of toxicity, but it would be best to monitor her for the next few days for signs of vomiting, diarrhea, or increased respiration or trouble breathing, and have her seen by your veterinarian immediately if those signs do occur, as your veterinarian will be able to assess her and give any supportive care that might be needed. I hope that all goes well for her!

Feb. 5, 2018

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Maebe

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Australian Shepherd

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6 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

I treated a chair with teak oil with contains petroleum distillates. My dog has been sitting in the chair after it had dried and I brought it inside the house. Her only symptom is itchy skin. Is there a possibility that she has hydrocarbon poisoning? (She did not ingest the teak oil, nor did she inhale the oil while the chair was drying)

Nov. 22, 2017

Maebe's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

If the teak oil was properly dried, it shouldn’t cause any issues for Maebe and issues with teak oil are usually respiratory from inhaling fumes or from licking the oil. Maybe there is something else causing Maebe is itch, try moving the chair somewhere else for a few days and give her a bath and see if there is any improvement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Nov. 22, 2017

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Bolt

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Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

7years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

I Hadn'T Noticed Any Symptoms

My Chihuahua went outside and got into transmission fluid, what do i do? How do you get the smell off? I don't know if he licked it or not. The transmission fluid was in the neighbor's driveway.

Aug. 30, 2017

Bolt's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It is important to wash the paws immediately with dish soap repeatedly whilst calling the Pet Poison Helpline; as we don’t know if the fluid contains ethylene glycol, it would be best to visit your Veterinarian or Emergency Veterinarian for emergency care to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVMwww.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/petroleum-distillates/

Aug. 30, 2017

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Paulie

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Beagle

dog-age-icon

12 Years

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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

Vomited

He ate or tried to eat pile of items some were food waste that were burned with diesel fuel 2 days ago and vomited today. Otherwise he seems fine. Has eaten his food everyday. Is there anything that could develop?

Hydrocarbons Poisoning Average Cost

From 72 quotes ranging from $1,200 - $5,000

Average Cost

$2,100