Technology has produced the means for manufacturing attractive packaging for certain detergents known as "Pods". Such products have become increasingly appealing to curious dogs and children. Your household needs to be "ON GUARD" when using such products. Remember, BOTH PETS and CHILDREN are quick and can get into trouble!
Detergents are divided into several categories.
- Soaps: Bar soaps, laundry soaps, and homemade soaps.
- Anionic : Laundry detergents, shampoos, laundry pods, dish soaps, and electric dish washing detergents.
- Cationic : Fabric softeners, sanitizers, disinfectants, and rust inhibitors in petroleum products. This category includes quaternary ammoniums.
- Non-ionic: Dish washing detergents, shampoos, and some laundry detergents.
Detergents come in a variety of forms with each having a different level of toxicity. Every home has these common products in some form, and all family members need to be aware of the dangers.
- Soaps: True soaps are usually not toxic.
- Anionic: Slightly to moderately toxic; may result in illness but generally not fatalities.
- Cationic: Highly to extremely toxic; 1% solutions are damaging to mucous membranes.
- Non-ionic: Less toxic than the anionic and cationic detergents.
Signs of Toxicity
- Soaps: Vomiting and diarrhea. Homemade soap may cause corrosive GI lesions (burns).
- Anionic: Irritated mucous membranes, vomiting, lack of appetite, diarrhea, and GI distention. May have corrosive injuries in the mouth and GI tract. Eye exposure may result in edema around the cornea, reddening and swelling of the conjunctiva, and corneal erosion or ulcers.
- Cationic: Vomiting, lack of appetite, drooling, muscle weakness, depression, seizures, collapse, coma, and burns to the mouth and GI tract. Eye exposure may cause redness and severe corneal erosion and ulcers. Skin exposure may result in hair loss and skin irritation.
- Non-ionic: Vomiting and diarrhea.
Immediate Action: DO NOT induce vomiting if ingested. It may cause more harm. Seek veterinary attention. In the case of dermal contact, flush the skin for at least 30 minutes with running water. In the case of eye contact, flush the eye with sterile saline or water for 20 minutes. Seek veterinary attention while you are performing the decontamination.
Veterinary Care: General treatment: Administration of milk or water in the case of soap, anionic, or non-ionic detergent ingestion, or administration of milk, water, or egg whites in the case of cationic detergent ingestion. If dermal (skin) or ocular exposure occurred, the affected areas will continue to be flushed with sterile saline. Supportive treatment: Pain medication may be administered, hydration is maintained through IV fluids, and other treatments for symptoms may be given.
Specific treatment: Unavailable. Suggested supplementation after care: fish oil, digestive and immune support nutrients for at least 60-90 days depending on severity of ingested detergent poison.
Prognosis fair to good, depending on detergent ingested and quickness of obtaining medical/veterinary treatment.
If you think your pet has been poisoned:
IMMEDIATELY Contact your veterinarian
or one of the Animal Poison Hot lines (listed below) if you think your pet may have accidentally received or been given an overdose of the medication.
ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center
(1-888-426-4435). There is a CHARGE and is billed to caller's credit card.
Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973.
There is no charge when the call involves a product covered by the Animal Product Safety Service.
Pet Poison Helpline
24-hour service available throughout North America for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet.
1-800-213-6680 There is a CHARGE per incident. Staffed 24-hours a day.