The warning that a simple ‘spring clean’ could be fatal to pets comes after one animal died and several suffered serious injury from exposure to cleaning products.
In one particularly harrowing case, PDSA vets had to euthanize a dog after they were exposed to laundry detergent which caused severe caustic burns to their paws, legs and mouth.
Other cases in the past 12 months include a cat that 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.
The PDSA vets have also dealt with a number of emergency incidents where pets had been poisoned by either ingesting or coming into contact with bleach.
“With many households doing their spring cleaning, it’s important to ensure products are safe to use around pets.
“Millions of us use bleach, oven cleaner, dishwasher tablets and laundry detergents all the time in the home but we need to realise how dangerous they can be to our 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.” said Rebecca Ashman a PDSA vet.
Rebecca advised that it was vital for owners to seek emergency veterinary treatment straight away if they suspect their pet has come into contact with anything corrosive or poisonous.
She added that, “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 in pets include:
- 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