Dogs are known well for having some pretty strange eating habits, always stuffing their mouths with anything that may seem delicious to them. This can lead to some serious danger for your canine companion especially if you’re placing certain types of items that are meant to keep vermin away. Mothballs are one of the many products used to keep vermin away from clothing and such and have been known to be consumed by dogs. Mothballs can be found mainly in people closets or drawers and while dogs may not be able to open drawers, they can still get inside closets when their owners aren’t paying close attention.
What are moth balls?
For those of you who don’t know, mothballs are solid pesticides that slowly release a vapor to kill and repel certain kind of vermin, specifically moths, their larvae, and other such insects that may be found in stored clothing or fabrics. Mothballs have been used to also repel mice, snakes and other such creatures, although is his highly unrecommended due to the possible harm it could bring to children, pets, and the environment.
Another thing to keep in mind is that moth repellent products do not only come in a ball-shaped form but in cubes, spheres, cakes, scales, powder, and flakes. Some of these moth repellents may also contain insecticides naphthalene, paradichlorobenzene (PDB) or at times camphor. Older mothballs mostly contain naphthalene. Even so, modern made mothballs end to contain PDB instead mainly due to the amount of possible concern of naphthalene flammability and toxicity. These days mothballs are made to be used in a sealed container, so their vapors are withheld. When used and stored properly, they can be quite safe to have at home around your canine companions.
Mothball toxicity and dogs
Mothballs are created with a high concentration of insect repellent in order to keep vermin away from your things. Because of this, dogs who consume any mothballs will suffer from its toxic effects. Being exposed for a long period of time to the fumes created by mothballs can also be harmful to not only your pup but you as well. The older version of mothballs that contain naphthalene is considered the most dangerous of all mothballs due to how toxic it is. Ingestion of naphthalene made mothballs will cause your dog to experience anemia, vomiting, lethargy, and even at times damage either the liver or kidney. PDB made mothballs, which are the more common modern variety, are less toxic but can still cause serious harm when ingested. Dogs who’ve ingested PDB mothballs commonly experience nausea, shaking or tremors, vomiting, and even liver or kidney damage. Keep in mind that it only takes a single mothball being ingested by your dog for them becoming poisoned. Although depending on the size of the mothball toxicity levels will vary.
What to do if dog has ingested a mothball?
If by any chance the worst has happened and your canine friend has consumed a mothball, contact either your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline (1800-213-6680) immediately. The quicker you seek medical treatment, the higher cancel your dog can be saved and make a complete recovery. Do not under any circumstances try to induce vomiting or orally give your dog anything unless your vet specifically tells you to do so. If possible, place the mothball package or any remaining loose mothballs into a sealed plastic bag and take them with you to the veterinary clinic in order to identify its toxicity.
Symptom of poison
Mothballs are known to dissolve quite slowly when consumed by a dog, and the poisoning may be delayed for several days. Knowing which signs to look for in case of possible poisoning can be quite used here a list of the signs to keep a close eye on:
- Mothball-scented breath
- Pale or brown gums
- Weakness or lethargy
- Labored breathing
These are the signs to look for if you suspect your pup has ingested a mothball. One thing to keep in mind is that there is no antidote for mothball poisoning. Although, when a dog has been decontaminated and given supportive treatment quickly, most dogs have a chance of surviving this kind of poisoning. In most severe cases, the dog may develop damage to their kidneys or liver.
How to prevent poisoning
Makes sure to always store away any mothballs out of reach from not only your pets but children as well. Store mothballs in closed, airtight containers to further prevent any accidental ingestion from your canine pal. Make sure to follow the instructions found in the package, and number use mothballs loose within your own home, backyard or garden area to repel vermin. Never combine different types of mothballs or mothballs with other insecticides. There are plenty of alternative options available for an owner who wishes to store fabric in a much more safer way.
If your dog has unfortunately ingested mothballs, make sure to immediately get in contact with your veterinarian or an emergency clinic and get your dog a prompt decontamination and treatment. Similar to any other type of poisoning, your canine friend has the best chance of recovering when treated as rapidly as possible.