Arsenic Toxicity in Dogs and Cats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Toxin
Arsenic

Source
Inorganic arsenic: Insecticides such as ant/roach poisons, herbicides, wood preservatives, and some insulation.


Organic arsenic: Sodium caparsolate and Filaricide (Two heartworm treatments and preventives).

General Information
Arsenic compounds cause reactions in the body that disrupt enzymes that are involved in cellular respiration, fat metabolism, and carbohydrate metabolism. They are especially damaging to the GI tract, kidneys, lungs, and skin.

Toxic Dose
Sodium arsenite: Dogs; 0.5-11 mg per pound. Cats; less than 2.25 mg per pound.

Sodium arsenate: Dogs; 3-6 mg per pound.

Signs
Vomiting, restlessness, drooling, nausea, severe abdominal pain often with bloody diarrhea with mucous in it, muscle weakness, trembling, staggering, severe dehydration, shock, paralysis, coma, and death.

Immediate Action
Induce vomiting. Seek veterinary attention.

Veterinary Care
General treatment: The induction of vomiting may be continued, gastric lavage is performed, and activated charcoal is administered.

Supportive treatment: Hydration is maintained with IV fluids. Medications may be given to soothe and protect the GI tract.

Specific treatment: Chelation agents such as Dimercaprol (BAL) or Succimer (DMSA) are given to remove the arsenic from the body. Acetylcysteine may be given to reduce the toxicity to certain internal organs.

Prognosis
Grave, unless treatment is started before clinical signs are advanced.

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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.

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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.

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Reprinted from PetEducation.com.