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Insecticides Poisoning In Dogs

Insecticides Poisoning In Dogs

Insecticides poisoning in dogs transpires because of inhaling, swallowing, splashing or absorbing them through the skin. Insecticides poisoning is not unusual as they are readily used in and around the home or in public areas.

Various forms of insecticide are used in areas that are prone to flea and tick infestations. Exposure to insecticides -- particularly after frequent or intense applications of chemicals -- will be surely toxic to dogs.

Dogs exposed to Insecticides may not show all of the signs of poisoning. Sometimes, pesticides may cause contradictory symptoms.

A small exposure to Insecticides (such as a whiff of spray from an insect sprayer or foggers) may cause general irritation and there is no need for an alarm.  However, if the dog has ingested larger amounts of pesticide or if it is showing any signs of distress, it is critical to get him to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Symptoms Of Insecticides Poisoning

  • Hypersalivation (excessive drooling)
  • Gagging or hacking
  • Skin irritations/Skin rashes
  • Nausea/ Vomiting
  • Distress
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Paranoia or agitation
  • Tremors/Convulsions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart rate/ Arrhythmia
  • Vocalization/ Crying/whimpering

Treatment Options For Insecticides Poisoning

Surgical Treatment:

There may not be any antidotes for most the insecticides poisoning. However, quick and effective treatment with the decontamination, monitoring, and supportive care help to minimize the extent and severity of signs.

Home Remedies For Insecticides Poisoning

First aid can be of first response; however, it is not a substitute for professional vet help

When you suspect the dog had insecticide poisoning -

  • Take the insecticide label to the vet
  • If the vet clinic is far away, follow the label's specific first-aid instructions carefully (if there is any).
  • Make sure the pet is breathing and is not further exposed to the insecticide before you call for emergency assistance.
  • Always have a source of clean water available.
  • For inhalation exposure- get the pet to fresh air immediately.
  • Any insecticide in the eyes – Gently wash the pets’ eyes, don’t drip the water directly into the eye or you may use an eyewash dispenser.

Prevention Of Insecticides Poisoning

Precautions when using pesticides indoors

  • When using Foggers (bug bombs) - Take out all pets from the home and keep them in safer areas.
  • Don’t go back inside the house until after the amount of recommended time mentioned on the can.
  • Flea Foggers form a fine aerosol mist, moves through the air, and settle in everything that is not covered.
  • Cover indoor plants, toys, and bowls to prevent liquid vapors or dust from entering or clean it once you enter the house or room
  • Consider switching off air conditioning or central heating as it can circulate airborne pesticides.
  • Make sure the area is well ventilated ( use extra fans) during the drying process
  • Clean up the spills immediately, always apply in small amounts, and spread evenly
  • If you use any insect or rodent bait in your home, make sure they are in locations not accessible to pets or in secure bait stations.
  • Use the right Baits and right spot. Many pets also find food baits appetizing.
  • To reduce the risk of accidental pet poisoning, use sticky traps instead of spraying to kill insects and use snap traps for mice instead of rodenticides.

Precautions when using pesticides outside the home

  • Keep away the pets (their toys, bedding, food bowls, and water) out of treated areas until the pesticide has dried completely.
  • This is to curtail your pet's exposure to the insecticide and to avoid residues from being trailed into homes,
  • Granular formulations may have specific instructions about how to apply in the soil and water the granules after they are applied.
  • Watering helps to dissolve the granules and prevent granules from getting trapped in pet fur.
  • Granular products label provide guidance on re-entry time. Typically, these products advise keeping the pets out of treated areas for at least 24 hours.
  • When there are no label directions, you can call your countries pesticide information center to determine how long to keep pets out of treated areas.
  • Toxic residues can hang about on the treated surfaces (even when the pesticides have dried) so consider implementing necessary precautions to stop your pet from eating, licking, or chewing any plants or other items treated with pesticides.
  • Choose the least toxic or organic option Instead of toxic chemicals to control pests in your yard. For example, Bacillus thuringiensis (controlling certain pests in the yard), and beneficial nematodes (controlling ticks and grubs).
  • Outdoor baits for rodents, gophers, and snails as well as slug baits can be highly toxic to dogs.
  • Use less toxic baits(such as iron phosphate, ferric sodium EDTA)

Affected Breeds Of Insecticides Poisoning

There is no breed disposition.

However, the top Breeds accounting for the most calls to Pet Poison Helplines are:

Boxer, Beagle, Chihuahua, Dachshund, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Yorkshire Terrier, Shih Tzu, Mix Dog Breeds

Additional Facts For Insecticides Poisoning

Types of pesticides are:

  • Insecticides - used to kill insects, fleas
  • Rodenticides - used to kill rodents (rats, mice, etc)
  • Larvicides - used to kill mosquitoes or larvae
  • Herbicides - used to kill unwanted plants or vegetation
  • Fungicides - used to kill fungi
  • Bactericides - to kill bacteria (such as disinfectants or antiseptics)

The most dangerous insecticides for dogs are:

  • Pyrethrins or pyrethroids
  • Carbamate insecticides (methomyl and carbofuran)
  • Methoxychlor (alternative pesticide for DDT)
  • d-Limonene (used for lepidopterous pests)

Studies related to insecticides poisoning and pets:

Houses in which lawns were treated with pesticides professionally were associated with a 70% higher risk of malignant lymphoma in dogs (Environmental Research- Uebelhoer- Takashima et al. 2012).

Dogs and Cats are highly responsive to synthetic pyrethroids (often found in insecticides) which trigger muscle spasms, tremors, seizures, and even death (Australian Veterinary Journal - Dymond and Smith - Review study: 2008.)

Professional pesticide treatment for lawns- Dogs accumulate chlorophenoxyacetic acid in their bodies (Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention -1994- Reynolds et al)

A study based in Science of the Total Environment- In the places where insecticides were used, Glyphosate was found to be more prevalent in the urine of dogs and cats.


The sooner you seek the vet for treatment, the prognosis will be better and so as the outcome for your pet!

When To See A Vet

Whenever you notice below mentioned signs, contact your vet immediately

  • Restlessness/ Agitation
  • Intense itchiness
  • Vocalization/ Crying/whimpering

Accompanied with Hypersalivation (excessive drooling) and some may roll around their backs

Food Suggestions For Insecticides Poisoning

  • Lean boiled meats
  • Chicken baby food
  • Plain steamed or baked white fish (whiting, pollock, cod, haddock etc)
  • Mashed potato (softened with fish poaching liquor)
  • Skinless, minced chicken or turkey
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Fibre rich foods: Apples, pears, oatmeal, and other foods
  • Rice, sweet potato, Mashed banana


Insecticide handlers need to be aware of the symptoms of pet poisoning in order to know when to seek medical attention. Early identification of symptoms of Insecticide poisoning and proper treatment is the key to preventing the potential for further injury.

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