Let's be clear - we don't mean you should send your dog into a spot with carbon monoxide to test out the area like a mining canary. We mention this only to warn you that your dog is just as, if not more, susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning, so keeping a close eye on their signs and symptoms is worth considering.
Signs Your Dog Has Been Exposed to CO
Your pup might be incredibly sleepy, too. If you notice them drifting off at unlikely times or you can't seem to wake them up from their lethargic state, you might have a sticky situation on your hands.
Check your doggo's gums. Do you notice reddened spots? Is their skin splotchy or itchy? How are their reflexes? If your dog's coordination seems exceptionally off and they're super disoriented, there's a good chance they're being affected by carbon monoxide poisoning.
It's also likely that your dog will have a few episodes of gastrointestinal irregularities. If your pup is having accidents, loses their coordination, and seems like they re stumbling around like a drunk, it's best to get them out of the house immediately.
- Head bobbing
- Pupils dilated
- Lack of focus
- Whale eye
- Raspy panting
- Vomiting and Bowel Issues
- Disorientation and Confusion
- Itchy Skin
- Red Gums
The History of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs
One of the most likely causes is when household appliances - think gas fires, boilers, central heating systems, water cookers and open fires - don't run correctly.
Additionally, running a car engine in an enclosed space can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, so never leave your doggo in the garage with a running car! Things like burning charcoal can also produce carbon monoxide gas. Blocked chimneys and flues can stop carbon monoxide from escaping and cause this poisoning as well.
Science Behind Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs
Unfortunately, your dog can't detect it and warn you about it either. They can feel the effects though, often much quicker and much stronger than you will.
CO is harmful when you or your dog breathe it because it displaces oxygen in your blood and deprives your heart, brain, lungs, and other organs of the oxygen they need. Carbon monoxide can overcome you or your dog in minutes without any warning, causing you to lose consciousness and suffocate.
Training Your Dog to Deal with CO Poisoning Treatment
As always, it's important that your dog is comfortable and ready for vet visits - or else anything that happens at the vet is going to be exponentially more difficult. Make sure your dog associates the vet as a positive experience. That means always ensure that they are getting tons of attention, treats, cuddles, and love while at the vet.
The odds are, if your dog is exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning, there's going to be a few weeks of treatment following the exposure to get them back to tip-top shape. Train your dog to deal with limited activity for up to six weeks - short walks that get them acclimated to their new doggy life slowly are a great help.
Keep an eye on their nervous system and response times. If you notice they're slow, get them into doggy puzzle games and chat with your vet about possible side effects of the CO.
How to React if Your Dog Has CO Poisoning Symptoms:
Get you, your dog, and the rest of the people and animals out of the house immediately.
Call your vet immediately!
Get your dog medical attention.
Contact your gas company and emergency services to test your home for CO before re-entering.