When your dog chews on and punctures an asthma inhaler, they can suffer severe, acute poisoning.
Asthma inhalers contain one of two substances:
- drugs that expand the lungs (such as albuterol)
One inhaler can contain up to 200 doses of medication. If your dog gets that in their system, the poisoning is severe. Potential effects include:
- electrolyte abnormalities
- muscle tremors
- dangerously increased heart rate
- dangerously high blood pressure
- heart arrhythmia
Further information: Asthma Inhaler Toxicity to Pets
Dogs like to investigate things on their own. Is this edible? How about that? Maybe it’s a toy? It fits in my mouth, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, our dogs are surrounded by many things that can seriously harm them. It is our job to keep such items out of reach.
Clarke is a young Labrador Retriever. True to his breed, he often gets into trouble. This time, however, his curiosity almost cost him his life. When, during his explorations, he found an asthma inhaler, he decided to see what it might be good for. He cracked and decided it was not much fun after all. However, the damage has already been done.
Clarke was lucky
Fortunately for Clarke, his parent discovered the damaged inhaler—they heard the hiss. They knew how dangerous it is and rushed Clarke to an emergency hospital. Even then, by the time Clarke was admitted, his heart rate and blood pressure were double the normal. His potassium levels were dangerously low. Had he received medical help much later, Clarke could have died.
A dog who gets into an asthma inhaler can look fine at first. Within half an hour, however, symptoms start cropping up fast and without help the encounter can be fatal.
Immediately, Clarke was put on IV fluids and medications to block the effects of the drug. Aggressive treatment saved Clarke’s life. His vitals improved quickly and 12 hours later he could go home.
Clarke was fortunate that he received help fast. What if nobody was home or the damaged inhaler wasn’t discovered?
Be aware of items that can hurt or poison your dog and keep them out of reach. Don’t forget that things in a purse are only safe when the purse is put away. Keep an eye on what your guests might be carrying in their purses too and find a safe place for such things. Nobody wants to lose their dog over such a misadventure.
Barbiturate Poisoning in a Dog: Yogi’s Sudden Collapse
Asthma Inhaler Toxicity to Pets