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Toxicity to pets
Batteries can be very dangerous when ingested or chewed by pets. When a battery is punctured or swallowed, the alkaline or acidic material can leak out and cause corrosive injury to the mouth and other body tissues. The most common types of batteries ingested or chewed on by dogs are alkaline dry cell batteries (e.g., 9-volt, D, C, AA, AAA) or button/disc batteries. Disc-shaped batteries or lithium batteries can also be dangerous and can cause tissue injury.
If a battery is swallowed or punctured, carefully flush the mouth for 15-20 minutes with tepid water. Dogs that ingest batteries should not be made to vomit, as the corrosive contents of the battery can cause further damage to the esophagus. Immediate veterinary attention is required after initial flushing of the mouth. Ulcers in the mouth may not be seen for hours after battery puncture or ingestion.
If you pet has punctured or swallowed a battery, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline® for advice.
Common signs to watch for:
- Oral pain
- Pawing at the mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty swallowing
- Burns in the mouth
- Abdominal pain
The content of this page is not veterinary advice. A number of factors (amount of substance ingested, size of the animal, allergies, etc.) determine what is toxic to a particular pet. If you think your pet has eaten something potentially toxic, call Pet Poison Helpline or seek immediate veterinary treatment.