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Acid Poisoning in Dogs and Cats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Poisonings
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Toxin
Acids such as hydrochloric (Muriatic) acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and phosphoric acid.

Source
Products such as pool chemicals, cleansers, toilet bowl cleaners, anti-rust compounds, gun barrel cleaning fluids, and automobile batteries.

General Information
Acids produce corrosive burns. Acid burns do not tend to penetrate as deeply as alkali burns.

Toxic Dose
Dependent upon the type and concentration of the acid

Signs
If ingested, ulcers in the mouth, larynx, and esophagus, drooling, lack of appetite, vomiting, laryngeal edema with difficulty breathing, pain, panting, and shock may be seen. If contact was with the eyes, the pet will be in intense pain and hold the eyes closed.

Immediate Action
For oral exposures, DO NOT induce vomiting. Give water or milk. Seek veterinary attention immediately. If ocular exposure has occurred, flush eyes with water or sterile saline for 30 minutes. If the toxicity is due to dermal (skin) exposure, the area should be flushed with running water for 30 minutes. Rubber gloves should be worn to prevent human exposure. Seek veterinary attention while decontaminating the pet.

Veterinary Care
General treatment: For oral exposure, water or milk may continue to be given. Activated charcoal is ineffective. If dermal or ocular exposure occurred, the affected areas will continue to be flushed with sterile saline.

Supportive treatment: Pain medication, IV fluids, and oxygen are given. Corticosteroids are used to help reduce stricture of ulcers especially in the esophagus. Antibiotics are started to reduce the risk of secondary infections. Placement of a feeding tube may be necessary in severe cases. Food is withheld until the extent of injury is known. Endoscopy is recommended to determine the extent of the injuries.

Specific treatment: Unavailable.

Prognosis
Guarded


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 Animal Poison Control Center - 24-hour service available throughout North America.
www.aspca.org/apcc

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 ($59.00 per incident). Staffed 24-hours a day.

Updated 6/20/17


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