What is Rotenone Toxicity ?
Rotenone is commonly used as an insecticide in various flea dips, powders, sprays and topical ointments. Some manufacturers have withdrawn products containing high levels of rotenone due to its toxicity and danger to the environment and to pets. If rotenone comes in contact with your dog’s skin, it is important to bathe your dog right away with water and soap. Make sure that he is thoroughly rinsed before taking your dog to the veterinarian for further observation and treatment. Do not try to induce vomiting if rotenone has been ingested. Instead, contact your veterinarian or go to the office right away.
Rotenone, when it is extracted from the root of specific plants, is used as an organic insecticide in gardens. However, it has proven to be highly toxic to pets when ingested.
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Symptoms of Rotenone Toxicity in Dogs
Dogs love to chew on objects and eat things, even those that are harmful. In fact, dogs are more than expected to be poisoned in comparison to cats. If your dog swallows any product containing rotenone, it is possible that you will notice that your dog shows signs of abdominal disturbance. Other symptoms may include:
- Abnormality in urination
- Respiratory failure
- Muscle tremors
- Pupil constriction
- Difficult breathing
Rotenone is known to be a toxic ingredient that will adversely affect dogs, snakes, pigs and fish, especially if these animals are considered pets in your home. Most tick shampoos are known to contain rotenone.
Other types of products with this ingredient include:
- DuraKyl Pet dip
- Goodwinol ointment
- KC Ear mite drops
Flea dips, for example, can remain in the dog’s furs for up to three weeks, especially if your dog does not get a bath within that time period.
Causes of Rotenone Toxicity in Dogs
Dogs with mange are usually treated with Goodwinol ointment. This particular ointment contains rotenone. After using Goodwinol ointment, if your dog is showing signs of muscle twitching, difficulty in breathing, diarrhea, seizures or vomiting, it is time to see a veterinarian.
The two main causes of rotenone toxicity in dogs are:
- Pesticide dog collars
- Flea dip and tick exposure products
In various brands of flea dips and pesticide dog collars, there is traceable rotenone. This chemical can be absorbed into your pet’s skin. A pesticide collar can be easily inhaled by your pet, causing toxic ingredients to invade the body.
Diagnosis of Rotenone Toxicity in Dogs
Excessive exposure to rotenone over a period of time will show noticeable bronchial secretion. The veterinarian will determine if your dog is poisoned and to what extent. You may be asked several questions, which could include:
- What kind of product was applied?
- How often was the product applied?
- How much was applied?
- When did you notice changes in your pet’s health?
- What were the immediate symptoms noticed?
If the skin is not thoroughly washed, the pesticide will absorb and remain on the skin, resulting in more skin and possibly lung damage, if it gets into the bloodstream. Your veterinarian will possibly examine the pet’s fur, eyes, and lungs to determine the appropriate diagnosis.
Treatment of Rotenone Toxicity in Dogs
Your veterinarian will continue to induce vomiting by performing gastric lavage and administering activated charcoal, if rotenone has been ingested. If skin exposure is noticeable or if you have not had the chance to do this yourself, the veterinarian would bathe your dog in warm water and soap, rinsing it off to ensure all of the pesticide has been washed away.
Veterinary treatment might also include prescribed medications to control tremors and seizures. Hospitalization might even be necessary, if the reaction to rotenone results in severe toxicity. IV fluids will be administered along with oxygen therapy. Many of the symptoms can be treated with atropine or a special antidote for toxicity. The prognosis tends to be good, if treatment is administered early.
Aggressive therapy may be used by the veterinarian to handle and get rid of mites and fleas so as to allow for supervised use of, or as an alternative to, toxic products.
Recovery of Rotenone Toxicity in Dogs
Support care will be necessary for an ongoing basis as long as is needed. Medications will continue to be administered if there are continued tremors and seizures. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to carefully watch your pet for any signs of distress, especially difficulty in breathing. Do not use any products that contain rotenone. You should also schedule a follow-up visit to the veterinarian.