When pets ingest paint balls (and it’s mostly dogs who ingest them!), it can result in severe poisoning. Paint balls contain glycerol, glycerin, sorbitol, gelatin, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol (PEG), mineral oil, dye, and other chemicals can result in poisoning. Clinical signs from paint ball poisoning include walking drug, vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors. A life-threateningly high sodium (salt) level can occur, and aggressively therapy to treat the high sodium level is necessary! Keep in mind that paint balls can cause a “false positive” a certain types of antifreeze blood tests! When in doubt, keep these out of reach!
While you may think these white balls are benign, they’re not. Mothballs typically contain either paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene (“old fashioned mothballs”). While the old fashioned mothballs are often considered more toxic, both can be deadly. Symptoms include vomiting, severe abdominal pain, tremors, weakness, staggering, and possible organ failure (of the kidneys and liver), along with a severe abnormality of your cat’s red blood cells.
OTC Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS)
Almost any dose of naproxen (Aleve®, Anaprox®, and others) can be deadly to a dog. The elimination half life in dogs can be up to 72 hours and recovery may be a matter of weeks before the dog is back to normal. The drug is particularly harmful to the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), kidneys, and liver. Early signs include abdominal pain, vomiting with or without blood and diarrhea with or without blood. Later signs include dehydration, weakness, and collapse. Seizures and coma, although rare, can occur. Treatment depends on the time of ingestion. For those dogs presenting shortly after ingestion, emesis followed by multiple doses of activated charcoal is indicated. Further treatment is symptomatic and supportive and should include aggressive IV fluids, stomach protectants, acid suppression medication, activated charcoal, and supportive care. Prognosis is good if the dog is treated aggressively and the renal system is thoroughly supported.
Veterinary prescription NSAIDS
There are veterinary NSAIDS that are prescription-strength and designed to be more “stomach” friendly for our four-legged friends. Some examples of veterinary NSAIDs include Rimadyl®, Deramaxx®, and Meloxicam®. These medication used to treat arthritis in pets, and are often times flavored in a liver or beef tasty chewable. Unfortuantely, veterinarians commonly see veterinary NSAID toxicity in dogs and cats who manage to find and eat a container full of what they consider to be “treats.” In large amounts, these can cause similar signs to what is listed above (under OTC NSAIDS): gastric ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, and even kidney failure!
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If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items or any other questionable substance, call Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian for assistance. Accurate and timely identification of the suspected substance is very important. Having the container, package, or label in hand will save valuable time and may save the life of your pet.