Dog Black Arsenic Poisoning

Veterinarian Reviewed on March 29, 2014 by Dr. Janice Huntingford

Dog Arsenic Poisoning

Most people have watched television or movies that contained scenes that included one spouse poisoning the other with arsenic, which have provided entertainment for many years in murder-mystery shows. Arsenic itself was used originally many years ago as a way to kill bugs via various baits. The problem that arose included pets or children accidentally ingesting the arsenic.

History of Arsenic

Around 1989, the US government made the roach bait companies put less arsenic in products and it continued to decrease to the point where arsenic products for bug control is not a common type of bait used today.

Heartworm Treatment

Dogs that test positive for Dog Heartworms, the treatment may include small doses of arsenic in order to kill the heartworms. Most dogs tolerate small doses for the treatment very well, but if exposed to higher doses, can result in severe vomiting, diarrhea, and ultimately death.

Curious Dogs

One thing to keep in mind with dogs is many are very low to the ground, so if you decide to use arsenic in your basement to control bugs, keep your dog out of the basement. A dog has a very good sense of smell, but they have few taste buds, so something may smell delicious to them and they eat it based on smell rather than taste. Dogs are curious and if you put something down that was not there previously, they will investigate.

Signs and Symptoms

Prior to 1989, when consumers used arsenic in the home as a way to control bugs, many cats, dogs, and children ended up being poisoned accidentally. Today, roach baits normally do not have arsenic but other rodent traps do, which means it is vital to keep your curious pets away from exposure to the chemical because it is deadly in doses in just 1 to 12 milligrams of arsenic per body pound. This is a very small amount, but it can cause devastating consequences.

Additional signs to look for with arsenic poisoning in dogs include collapsing, staggering as if drunk, uncontrollable drooling, stomach pain, and Dog Dehydration. Any of these signs coupled with Dog Diarrhea and Dog Vomiting requires an emergency trip to the veterinarian. Additionally, if arsenic poisoning is suspected, it is something to let the veterinarian know immediately upon arrival. The vet can begin removing the poison and reducing the amount that is absorbed, but the doctor needs to know that arsenic poisoning is a possibility so that treatment can begin immediately.

Final Thoughts

Finally, if you have a dog your responsibility is to keep them safe. Do not allow them near anything that could possible harm them, remember, dogs can be quite curious by nature and a dog is more likely to eat a rat poison than a cat would, especially a puppy. If you are using arsenic for bug or rodent control, make sure your dog does not have access to where you have the baits placed.

Read also: Dog Salivary Tumor
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Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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