My Dog Ate Hand Sanitizer

Even though hand sanitizers are a common feature in most homes, they do not rhyme so well with dogs. While there shouldn’t be a significant concern if your dog merely licks your hands with few traces of sanitizer, ingesting can cause massive problems.  The main ingredient of hand sanitizers is ethanol, of which some have about 60% of it, while others have about 95%, which is relatively concentrated. Other ingredients include essential oils, water, and fragrances. 

The thing is that ethanol is toxic, but combined with these additional components, the level of toxicity is high and can be lethal once your dog consumes it. The immediate symptoms you might begin to see are behavioral changes. Other severe symptoms such as breathing difficulties, staggering, weakness, and vomiting may follow soon after. It is the reason to speak to your vet right away if you find that your dog has swallowed a hand sanitizer.

Quick Steps to Take Once Your Dogs Eats Hand Sanitizer

It does not matter the amount of sanitizer your dog would have consumed. You may have to wait right there, monitoring possible symptoms. The substance is so toxic that they will probably begin to exhibit behavior changes within the shortest time after ingestion.  Some of the signs are excitement or aggression, and they may start to pass urine uncontrollably. Take your dog urgently to the vet if they are vomiting, lazy, and with weak respiration. The breath or vomit may also be smelling of alcohol, which means it’s already in the bloodstream. In severe intoxication cases, your dog could begin to have seizures, and all these spell danger. Quick actions, including calling your vet or the online helpline platforms, can have experts instructing you what to do.

Physical Exam and Lab Tests Can Determine the Level of Intoxication

Once you make that important call, the vet may need full details concerning your dog, including the type of hand sanitizer and the amount they ingested. They might also ask you to describe the ingredients on the label. With such information, the doc can decide whether to bring the dog to the clinic or ask you to perform first aid.

Suppose you are bringing the pup to the clinic. It would be good to carry a sample of the hand sanitizer for the doc to confirm the amount of poison in the bloodstream. The vet will mostly perform a physical examination, a blood count, and urinalysis to diagnose. For example, a blood ethanol concentration test confirms the amount of alcohol in your hound’s system. Meanwhile, a blood gas analysis can show the amount of acidity in your dog’s body. Tests are also essential as they help rule out any other underlying medical conditions that could complicate your dog’s full recovery.

Treatment Depends on the Various Symptoms Your Dogs Is Displaying

The standard treatment for alcohol poisoning may involve gastrointestinal detoxification using agents such as activated charcoal. The vet may also perform intravenous fluid therapy. Other probable interventions include cardiopulmonary resuscitation or respiratory and ventilation support.  The vet can also prescribe antibiotics and antacids to prevent further infection. At this point, liver function may also be compromised, and the doc may suggest follow-up appointments to see its performance. Usually, alcohol poisoning in the hand sanitizer is lethal, and without quick actions, your dog could die, even as they undergo treatment.

How to Prevent Hand Sanitizer Poisoning in Your Dog

The most important prevention strategy is to keep all hand sanitizer bottles out of your dogs reach. If not in the drawers, keep them higher up on the shelves where your dog cannot go. Although you can’t stop sanitizing your hands, ensure your dog does not lick your hands once you have an application. You can also opt for soap and water if yours is a dog that never stops licking your hands. Dogs most hate the smell of soap, and that is a good deterrent.

Finally, having a dog in your home means extra care because of their non-discriminatory eating habits. They feed on just about anything, including that hand sanitizer.  Please think of the expenses you would incur while trying to bring them back to form.  Keeping things away is much easier and cheaper.

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