Moth ball poisoning in dogs can be a problem but knowing the symptoms and treatments can really be helpful to both of you. Dogs are known to eat anything they come across which include things that are not always good for them such as mothballs. This is poison for your dog and needs immediate action by you. Let's explore the results of the composition of mothballs a dog eating them.
Composition of mothballs
The composition of mothballs is a toxin called Naphthalene. This toxin is found in moth repellents and toilet bowl cleaners. Recently Naphthalene is being replaced by Paradichlorobenzene which is not quite as toxic but still capable of causing intestinal distress in your dog's stomach or neurological if ingested in large amounts. Keep in mind that both of these toxins can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed by the skin. There is a way of determining which chemical your mothballs are made of and that is by diluting three heaping tablespoons of salt in warm water until it is dissolved. Take your moth ball and place it in the water. If the moth ball floats it is made of Naphthalene and if it sinks it is made with Paradichlorobenzene.
If your dog has encounter mothballs you will know shortly after by the symptoms. If it is ingested it may take up to two hours to notice the symptoms. If your dog is continuously exposed to mothballs it may take up to several days. The symptoms of moth ball poisoning present such things as the smell of Naphthalene on their breath, vomiting, lethargic, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, loss of appetite, seizures, cerebral swelling and eventually coma. There are other complications that can arise from coming in contact with mothballs.
Your dog may develop Heinz anemia which can present symptoms as weakness and showing pale mucous membrane. Methemoglobinemia is another problem that arises from the poisoning of moth balls. The symptoms of this are the dog will present brown, blue colored gums. Dogs can also develop liver problems with signs of jaundice.
When your dog ingests mothballs it becomes a medical emergency and you must seek treatment at once. You need to get your dog to a vet so he can induce vomiting. This has to be done within 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion. Your vet will then administer charcoal which helps in the prevention of any other absorption of the toxic that is left in the dogs system. Your dog may need hospitalization as they can have problems with their breathing and could require oxygen.
As you can see mothball poisoning can be a very serious situation. The best means of avoiding this situation is by keeping moth balls away from your dog at all times. Your best and only course of action is to contact your veterinarian or a poison control center at once. The prognoses for this poisoning will depend on the length and quantity of mothballs that your dog has been exposed to and how quickly you react to it. Symptoms and treatments of mothball poisoning in dogs are critical and your reaction time is very important.