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cleaning pdsa

Vets issue warning for spring clean season after dog's death

Spring is the perfect time to give your house a thorough clean, but vet charity PDSA is warning owners about the fatal dangers of cleaning products after one death and multiple serious cases.

A dog has been euthanised by the charity's vets after they were exposed to laundry detergent which caused severe caustic burns to their paws, legs and mouth. Other cases in the last 12 months include a cat who was left foaming at the mouth after he licked a floor that had just been treated with disinfectant and a dog who suffered chemical burns to his scrotum after coming into contact with a cleaning product on the floor.

PDSA has also dealt with a number of cases where pets had been poisoned by either ingesting or coming into contact with bleach. Cases such as Bootsie, a tabby cat who was rushed to PDSA Leicester Pet Hospital after drinking bleach from his owner's toilet. It caused severe ulceration to his throat and he required tube-feeding for several days so his injuries could heal.

Rebecca Ashman, PDSA vet, said, "With many households doing their spring cleaning, it's important to ensure products are safe to use around pets.

"Products such as bleach and detergents are highly corrosive and cause permanent and even life-threatening damage to a pet's skin or insides if swallowed.

"Some pets will naturally explore or chew boxes and containers, so it’s really important to keep cleaning products safely locked away. Also, if you’re cleaning floors or other areas pets use, please keep them out of harm’s way and rinse the areas after cleaning.  Using products at the correct dilution also helps to ensure pets don’t come into contact with concentrated chemicals."

Rebecca adds that it is vital you seek emergency veterinary treatment immediately if you believe your dog has come into contact with any of these substances.

She said, "It’s important to seek veterinary advice urgently. Don’t try to make your pet sick as this can sometimes cause further harm.

"In an emergency situation it’s also useful to let the vet know as much as possible about the offending substance, so they can give the appropriate treatment. So always keep the packaging and take it with you if you need to go to the vet."

Symptoms of exposure to toxic chemicals or substances

  • Ulcerated or irritated skin including inside the mouth
  • Vomiting or coughing
  • Lethargy and collapse
  • Difficulty eating and excessive salivation/foaming at the mouth
  • Pawing at the mouth

For more information on keeping your pet safe, go to the PDSA website.