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Bleach Poisoning in Dogs and Cats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
First Aid, Emergencies, & Poisons
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Toxin
Sodium hypochlorite, hypochlorite salts, sodium peroxide, sodium perborate, or enzymatic detergents.

Source
Bleach, Clorox, and swimming pool supplies.

General Information
Household bleaches are generally mild to moderate irritants affecting the mucous membranes and esophagus. Animals rarely ingest enough bleach to cause toxicity and what they do ingest typically causes vomiting which limits the amount absorbed. The hypochlorite bleaches are alkaline resulting in alkali burns to tissues that contact it. Sodium perborate degrades to borate (see borate poisoning) and hydrogen peroxide which may irritate the stomach and cause vomiting.

Toxic Dose
Varies depending on source.

Signs
With ingestion, signs include drooling, vomiting, abdominal pain, and sore throat. The hair coat especially around the mouth and paws, may be bleached or smell like chlorine. If fumes were inhaled, signs such as coughing, difficulty breathing, or retching due to pulmonary irritation may be seen.

Immediate Action
DO NOT induce vomiting. Give milk or water if ingested. If dermal (skin) exposure occurred, wash and rinse the hair coat thoroughly. Seek veterinary attention.

Veterinary Care
General treatment: Large quantities of water or milk are administered.

Supportive treatment: The animal is monitored and treated for difficulty breathing, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Specific treatment: Unavailable.

Prognosis
Fair to good.


Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.


If you think your pet has been poisoned...

Contact your veterinarian or one of the Animal Poison Hotlines (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

1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435). $65.00 per case, 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 ($35.00 per incident). Staffed 24-hours a day.


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