Insecticide Poisoning in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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

What is Insecticide Poisoning?

Insecticides are commonly used to keep pests away from plants, as well as to repel fleas and ticks from pets. Though insecticides are safe when used correctly, an incorrect usage or accidental consumption can lead to poisoning. It's imperative to remove your dog from any area that may be toxic. The effects of insecticide poisoning can be severe enough to be fatal, which is why it is vital that you bring your dog to the veterinarian for decontamination as soon as possible.

Insecticide poisoning can be caused by any insecticide and results in symptoms that range from mild to severe. Treatment is focused on decontamination and on flushing the insecticide out of the system, whether through vomiting or by emptying the bowels. If there is any chance that your dog may have insecticide poisoning, bring him or her to the veterinarian immediately, as delays in treatment and supportive care may lead to death.
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Insecticide Poisoning Average Cost

From 45 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,600

Symptoms of Insecticide Poisoning in Dogs

The clinical signs for insecticide poisoning vary depending on the source and are nonspecific to the condition. Potential symptoms include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Gagging
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart rate
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Causes of Insecticide Poisoning in Dogs

Insecticide poisoning is caused by the direct application or by accidental consumption of the insecticide. There are many types of insecticides, including:

  • Carbamate insecticides - the easiest way to identify poisoning caused by carbamate insecticides is through the acronym SLUD (salivation, lacrimation, urination, and diarrhea)
  • d-Limonene - a 5x-10x increase in d-Limonene treatment will induce muscle tremors, mild hypothermia, and hypersalivation.
  • Methoxychlor - although one of the safest insecticides, it has known negative reproductive effects and is not safe to use on animals that produce milk.
  • Pyrethrins or pyrethroids - pyrethrins have been used as a popular insecticide for years, it's effective by attacking the sodium channel as well as chloride and calcium channels. This effect exacerbates the impact when reaching toxic levels in dogs. Cats are especially sensitive to pyrethrins and applying a pyrethrin product meant for a dog to a cat can prove fatal.

Insecticides are often used to help prevent fleas and ticks on dogs. Though these can usually be applied topically without harming your dog, they may still be dangerous if an adverse reaction occurs or if your dog ingests the insecticide. A residual insecticide applied to plants or feed may also harm your dog if eaten or otherwise absorbed.

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Diagnosis of Insecticide Poisoning in Dogs

A diagnosis for insecticide poisoning is typically made based on history and clinical findings. If you know or suspect that your dog has insecticide poisoning, bring a sample of the insecticide with you so that the veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate treatment. Let the veterinarian know what symptoms your dog has exhibited, as well as their duration and severity.

Treatment is usually provided before confirmation of the diagnosis, as insecticide poisoning can be quickly fatal. However, with certain insecticides, the diagnosis can be confirmed with laboratory testing of the blood or urine. If cholinesterase in the blood is less than 25 percent of normal levels, the veterinarian will confirm a positive case. If you are not sure that your dog has been in contact with an insecticide, and if clinical signs do not ease following treatment, insecticide poisoning may not be the cause of your dog’s symptoms.

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Treatment of Insecticide Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment for insecticide poisoning depends on whether the insecticide was applied or ingested though the goal in both cases is decontamination and symptom management. If the insecticide was applied, simply bathing your dog with dish washing detergent before the product has been absorbed may be enough to decontaminate him or her.

In cases where the insecticide was ingested, it will need to be flushed out of your dog’s stomach. In most cases, this can be accomplished by inducing vomiting and/or through emptying the bowels. With certain insecticides, vomiting is not recommended, in which case the veterinarian may administer activated charcoal to bind toxins and prevent them from getting absorbed.

IV fluid therapy may be necessary for dehydrated dogs while anti-seizure medication may be given to address convulsions and a respirator, or oxygen cage used to aid with breathing. As the insecticide is flushed out of your dog’s system, the veterinarian will focus on managing his or her symptoms. Hospitalization may be required for treatment, monitoring, and supportive care.

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Worried about the cost of Insecticide Poisoning treatment?

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Recovery of Insecticide Poisoning in Dogs

As with any recovery, it's imperative to provide your dog with a safe, quiet place to rest once you are home again and make sure he or she has easy access to fresh water. Monitor your dog for returning or additional symptoms, and let the veterinarian know immediately if you notice any new clinical signs.

It is easier to prevent insecticide poisoning than it is to treat it. Before applying any tick or flea medication on your dog, be sure to read the instructions carefully, and use only the amount that is recommended for your dog’s size. Keep all insecticides in a place your dog cannot reach, and store your insecticides according to instructions. If your furry friend enjoys rolling around in the grass or play in fields, try to take him or her to a place where you know insecticides are not used. Otherwise, give your dog a footbath when you get back home, as residual insecticide may linger on footpads and fur.

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Insecticide Poisoning Average Cost

From 45 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,600

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Insecticide Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Golden Retriever

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Six Years

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12 found helpful

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12 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Redness

my dog licked up foam wasp spray which had dripped into the ground. She was licking her lips so we looked outside and figured out what had happened. It could not have been much. She went outside and vomited. Her vet said to call the poison hotline. She is eating her food.. We want to be safe.

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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12 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Without knowing the product that she ate, unfortunately, I don't know if it is a problem or not. It would be best to call a Pet Poison Control Hotline, and give them the name of the product so that they can see if a small amount might be a problem. There should also be a warning on the side of the canister that tells what to do in case of accidental ingestion. I hope that all goes well for her and she is okay.

Oct. 4, 2020

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Long Haired Dotson

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Three Years

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

None

My dog licked Raid off the wall after it was sprayed. Is he OK or is there something we should do????

Sept. 25, 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 okay. If they are still having any 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. 20, 2020

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Insecticide Poisoning Average Cost

From 45 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,600

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