If you are reading this article, the chances are that your dog has ingested bleach. Below we look at how much bleach can kill a dog and what you can do in this unfortunate situation.
If your dog ingests a large amount of concentrated bleach, it can be lethal. For instance, in one report, two dogs drank about 71 fl. oz. (2.12L) of Clorox regular bleach with 6.15% sodium hypochlorite.
Both dogs developed hypernatremia, hyperchloremia, and numerous biochemical abnormalities. Ultimately, they had to be put down because of the severity of their symptoms from toxicosis.
If you are in this unfortunate situation, here is a quick guide on what to do:
- Call your vet immediately.
- If your dog is exhibiting vomiting, diarrhea, and other main symptoms, you should probably bring her to the vet’s clinic.
- If the dog isn’t exhibiting any major symptoms, the vet might ask you to simply monitor it for a day.
- Rinse your dog’s mouth with water, and give it a good bath under the shower to remove any bleach from its body
- Try to make your dog drink a lot of liquids.
- Do not try to make it vomit.
For those who are here just for information, here are more facts about bleach, when it can be poisonous for dogs, what the symptoms are and what you can do.
What Kind of Bleach Is Poisonous?
Concentrated bleach (agricultural products, industrial bleach) in high amounts can be poisonous.
Bleach is either chlorine-based such as calcium hypochlorite, or nonchlorine (peroxide-based). Your normal household cleaning products usually have a pH of11. The higher the PH value, the stronger the alkaline value in the product.
Agricultural bleach and bleach used for professional cleaning are almost ten times stronger than your household cleaning products and have a pH value of 12 to 12.5.
Why Is Bleach Poisoning Becoming Common?
Bleach can kill or control most viruses, bacteria, algae, and other pathogens. After Covid-19, many people have been house cleaning products frequently and thoroughly to stay safe.
But unfortunately, this has increased the exposure of dogs to household cleaning products. Exposure to bleach can severely hurt a dog and can even lead to death, depending on how concentrated it was and how much the dog consumed.
What Should I Look For If I Suspect My Dog Has Bleach Poisoning?
The first thing to consider with bleach poisoning is how your dog has come in contact with bleach. There are three scenarios:
The dog has had contact with bleach on the skin but not in the mouth.
If your dog has walked on a puddle of strong bleach, then his skin will start to burn. However, the consequences are not that severe, and your Veterinary doctor may advise you to do home treatment.
The dog has put bleach in the mouth but has not ingested it.
If your dog has chewed a bottle containing bleach, then his lips, mouth, and tongue will start to burn Your dog’s condition is not that serious; over time, the burning will go away. Meanwhile, You can offer it lots of cool liquids.
The dog has ingested bleach.
If your dog has ingested a large amount of bleach, then the burning will continue down to the esophagus and stomach. It may damage your dog’s kidneys and create ulcers in the stomach and intestine. Nonchlorine bleach is also not safe. They will irritate your dog’s food pipe and stomach and cause vomiting as they contain hydrogen peroxide.
Symptoms Of Bleach Poisoning In Dogs
The symptoms of bleach poisoning vary because it depends on the bleach concentration in the product and how much your furry friend has ingested the product. Your dog may show the following symptoms if it has ingested diluted bleach or mild household bleach products.
- Lack of interest in food.
- Pawing at face or mouth
But, if your dog has ingested a concentrated bleach product, then there could be major problems such as:
- Kidney damage
- Irritation of the respiratory tract
- Increase in thirst, confusion, and seizures because of hypernatremia and hyperchloremia
How Can I Treat Bleach Contact In My Dog At Home?
#1. Call Your Veterinary Doctor
Your first should be to call the veterinary doctor. If the condition is mild, the veterinary doctor will advise you to take care of your dog at home.
#2. Rinse Its Mouth And Body
Make sure to thoroughly rinse the dog’s mouth with a lot of water so that the teeth, jaw, and gums are completely cleaned and have no traces of bleach on them.
Next, get your dog under the shower to remove any bleach on the body. If possible, use a little bit of mild shampoo or dish soap if your dog has skin lesions and monitor the signs and symptoms.
#3. Encourage Your Dog To Drink
You should try to get your pup to drink a lot of water. This will ensure that whatever bleach remains gets diluted and therefore becomes harmless.
Remember that your dog’s mouth would be hurting from the bleach, so it may not be easy for you to get it to drink. Try giving it cold water or milk with tuna juice so that the dog likes the drink a bit more.
#4. Don’t Try Your Dog To Vomit
You should never try to make your dog vomit if it has unknowingly ingested bleach. While coming back up, the bleach in the vomit will hurt your dog’s esophagus.
It is possible that your dog can get ulceration in the esophagus, which is harder to treat than just plain old stomach ulcers. Additionally, your dog can breathe in some bleach-containing vomit, damaging his lungs.
What Will Happen at the Vet’s if the Dog’s Condition is Severe?
If the condition is severe, you have to take your pet immediately to a veterinary doctor. The treatment depends on the severity of symptoms in your dog.
Treatment may include hospitalization for monitoring, fluid drip to correct electrolyte imbalance, or the veterinary doctor will give medications to treat stomach ulcers in your dog.
Your dog’s stomach may be pumped by a method known as gastric lavage. The doctor may use activated charcoal to bind the toxins of your dog.
After the treatment, your dog is monitored for several hours before being released. It allows the veterinary doctor to ensure that the dog has no further skin reactions and vomiting complications.
Once your dog returns home, you should monitor his signs and symptoms and remove all the hazardous substances and keep them in a safe place and secure place.
An Unfortunate Incident and the Lessons to Learn
Ingesting concentrated bleach hurts your dog. Strong bleach can cause numerous issues like metabolic changes in your body’s body. The kidney may start to fail, and your dog may die.
It’s difficult to say the exact quantity of bleach that can kill a dog. However, ingesting a few volumes of bleach bottles containing 6.15 percent of sodium hypochlorite is dangerous for your dog and may lead to death.
I am discussing a case study that may help you know better.
A 13-year-old female dog of weight 35.2 lb and a five-year-old male dog of weight 39.6 lb were admitted to Texas Veterinary Medical Centre to evaluate for acute vomiting, diarrhea, and ataxia.
The two dogs were housed in the laundry and kitchen area for almost 6 hours when the dog owner was not home. When the owner returned home, he found both dogs in distress, and there were multiple areas of vomit and diarrhea lying on the floor. A severely chewed empty bleach bottle was also lying near the two dogs.
The dog owner reported that the two dogs were habituated to chewing empty plastic bottles. They chewedClorox, a regular bleach bottle containing 6.15 percent sodium hypochlorite, unknowingly.
The dog owner estimated that the 2.83-liter bleach bottle was almost 75 percent full before being damaged. The owner even stated that there was no evidence that the two dogs were exposed to any other toxic materials.
While admitted to the hospital, the two dogs were very poorly responding and hypothermic. Both the dogs vomited yellow foamy liquid during their examination. The skin was damp and smelled of bleach and urine.
The female dog was drooling excessively, had green nasal discharge, and had severely elevated sodium and chloride concentrations. The magnesium, phosphorous, glucose, and calcium concentrations were also high in female dogs. In male dogs, the sodium, chloride, BUN, creatine, and magnesium concentration was high after ingestion of bleach.
Both the dogs were admitted to the intensive care unit, and the doctors administered oxygen flow. They were placed under blankets to treat hypothermia. Despite continuous treatment, the female dog remained hypothermic and developed watery diarrhea.
The neurological status also declined below the normal range, and they had difficulty breathing. The male dog also had respiratory problems even after treatment.
Both the dogs were finally euthanized within less than 12 hours of admission. The dog owner declined the request for an autopsy on two dogs.
How to Prevent Dogs From Drinking Bleach?
- You should store bleach-containing products in a safe area, i.e., in locked cupboards or on the upper shelf so that your dog cannot reach them.
- You should follow the instructions written on the product, especially about diluting the product. If the product is more diluted, it is less toxic for your dog.
- You should use a pet-safe disinfectant to clean the areas of your dog.
- Try to close the toilet lids after cleaning.
How To Dispose Of A Dog With Parvo?
Parvovirus is a scary disease and mainly affects unvaccinated dogs. It is a highly contagious disease. If your dog dies of parvovirus, don’t bury him because the virus makes its way through the soil.
According to Utah Veterinary Clinic, the parvovirus stays in the environment for six months to almost one year. So, it’s better to cremate your dog.
A Few Final Words
Bleach is poisonous for your dog. So, you should always keep the bleach products in safe places where your dog cannot reach them.
But if your dog has accidentally ingested bleach, then you should immediately call the veterinary doctor. The doctor may hospitalize and provide necessary treatments that can save your canine’s life.
We thank you for reading this article, and hopefully, the article has cleared all your queries regarding bleach poisoning in dogs. If you have more questions, then please write in the comment section. We will be happy to answer all your queries.