Hand-Warmer Warning

by Lin Battaglia, mdt-Agility Ability LLC , © 2008

This is a warning against the dangers of dogs eating the contents of chemical hand warmers. It is published here by permission of the author and is presented unchanged except for the addition of formatting.

Hand-Warmer Warning

by Lin Battaglia, mdt-Agility Ability LLC , © 2008

Dear Dog People,

I'm passing this story along to you as a heads up to what can happen. My friends Corgi was involved in a serious occurance : she ate the contents of a hand-warmer Sat. 12/29/07.

The poison control center number listed on the package was called and a recording stated the number was not available from the area (Sacramento). 911 was called, they patched through to the fire dept. Eventually they were connected to an animal hospital that was open at 9:00 p.m. on Sat.

When the dog presented at the ER, she had been vomiting. As the percentage of iron was not listed on the label, the ER vet was not sure if she was suffering from iron toxicity (toxic dose = 50 mg/kilogram). Accordingly, she had to induce vomiting (emisis) followed by oral charcoal administration. Additionally, as her liver enzymes were elevated, she requires follow-up blood work by our vet. Needless to say, the episode was frightening and expensive.

The next day discarded hand-warmers were found on the ground in the area at a dog show near the ring. This prompted her to post this warning. I never would have thought a dog would eat something so unlike food, but she did. Thus, if you use hand-warmers in the winter, please be careful and make sure you keep track of them and safely discard them when they are no longer needed so that our precious pups don't inadvertently ingest the product.

The dog is much better now. I think that's because we found the evidence of her transgression quickly; and, we acted with due diligence to get her help. She had follow-up blood work done this a.m., and we should know tomorrow if her liver is functioning properly at that time.

Please feel free to forward this message to anyone you know who has a dog. We wouldn't want anyone else's beloved pet to go through this traumatic experience.

Forward from Lin Battaglia

mdt-Agility Ability LLC


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created 1/21/08 revised 1/21/08
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