What is Petroleum Distallates Poisoning?
Various hydrocarbons are within oil and gas products. Petroleum distillates are hydrocarbons that can cause severe neurological toxicity if inhaled, and can have severe chronic or acute effects on dogs as well as people. It is very important to use these agents in a well ventilated area. Petroleum distillates are often used to remove tar, grease, wax, and oil. Also referred to as aliphatic hydrocarbons, these compounds can be poisonous when ingested and immediate medical attention is necessary. Aliphatic hydrocarbons, or petroleum distillates, also include gasoline, methane, butane, propane, and other aromatic hydrocarbons. Once ingestion has occurred, it can poison the dog by causing chemical pneumonitis. Aspiration can also occur, thus making this type of poisoning lethal if not treated promptly.
Petroleum distillates poisoning in dogs is a result of ingesting hydrocarbon products, or solvents, which are produced from crude oil. Poisoning can occur from inhalation or from ingesting these substances.
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Symptoms of Petroleum Distallates Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog has come into contact with petroleum distillates, he may exhibit the following symptoms. Some symptoms may be mild to severe depending on the amount of petroleum distillate ingested. Symptoms can include:
- Increased thirst
- Shaking of the head
- Pawing at the face or eyes
- Abdominal pain
- Dilated pupils
- Respiratory distress
- Chemical burns
- Mouth ulcers
There are many types of petroleum distillate substances. It is important to know the different types so you can keep your dog safe. Many petroleum distillates are found at places of work, such as factories, and in garages in the home. Types of petroleum distillates include:
- Mineral spirits
- Stoddard solvent
Causes of Petroleum Distallates Poisoning in Dogs
Causes of petroleum distillate poisoning are from the ingestion of specific types of petroleum distillate product. It is very important to keep these products out of the reach of dogs or properly sealed. Causes of poisoning are:
- Rapid damage to the red blood cells
- Central nervous system damage
- Aspiration, causing damage to the lung tissues
Diagnosis of Petroleum Distallates Poisoning in Dogs
If you know your dog has ingested petroleum distillates, it will be important to tell your veterinarian once you get your dog to treatment. The veterinarian will want to know precisely what your dog ingested, how much he consumed, and when the symptoms occurred. This information will allow the physician to begin treating your dog immediately. If by chance your dog vomited after he consumed the petroleum distillate, it will greatly help the veterinarian if you give him a sample.
The veterinarian will perform blood testing, a urinalysis, electrolyte testing, and any chemical testing needed to determine a diagnosis. Imaging of the chest will be done to check the lungs for any aspiration. While he is doing a thorough examination, he may be able to smell the odor and determine the type of petroleum distillate that has caused the poisoning. Samples from your dog’s feces and from the contents of the stomach may also be taken, as well as samples from other organs to determine their functionality.
Treatment of Petroleum Distallates Poisoning in Dogs
After the diagnosis of petroleum distillate poisoning is made, the veterinarian will begin treatment. Treatment may be washing of the skin if the dog came into contact with the petroleum distillate on his fur or skin. Other treatment methods will be based on the severity of the toxicity. They may include:
Releasing Gas Pressure
To release any pressure from gas buildup in the stomach, the veterinarian may insert a tube to relieve it. The veterinarian may not do this, as this depends on the severity of the dog’s condition and if there is a risk for any aspiration or the gas entering the peritoneal cavity of the abdomen. Activated charcoal is not effective in absorbing gaseous substances of this type.
If the dog has inhaled the substance and is aspirating, he will need to receive oxygen therapy. Oxygen therapy will help the lungs or stabilize the lungs from the aspiration and the damage to lung tissue.
Antibiotics of the broad-spectrum type will be given to counteract any infection in the lungs. Pneumonia can occur if pathogens get into the lungs after the aspiration of any stomach contents.
Recovery of Petroleum Distallates Poisoning in Dogs
Recovery from petroleum distillate poisoning will occur if your dog was treated immediately and responded well to treatment. Your veterinarian will relay any information to you concerning your dog’s prognosis. Although petroleum distillate poisoning can be life-threatening or fatal, this depends on the amount ingested and the time it took to receive treatment.
Petroleum distillate poisoning is very serious, and if your dog is recovering from treatment, there are actions you will have to take at home to be sure he is being monitored very carefully and he is making positive strides to better health. Your veterinarian will give you instructions on how to properly care for your dog at home after he is released from his care.
If you see any new symptoms occurring, or have any questions for your veterinarian, is important to contact him as soon as possible. More than likely, your veterinarian is going to want to see him for follow-up appointments to check on his recovery.
Petroleum Distallates Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
I believe my dog ingested some freshly applied caulk that contains petroleum distillates. I’m unsure of the amount he may have ingested. He isn’t showing any symptoms yet, but it’s only been within 2 hours of when he possibly ingested it. Is there anything we can do here at home to ensure he won’t be affected? Should we induce vomiting? Help!
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