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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19374
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My dog may or may not have ingested some very old dry tile

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My dog may or may not have ingested some very old dry tile adhesive scraps that contains ethylene glycol. The reason I suspect this is because the garbage can had knocked down and I heard the garbage moving around- so I found him near it- but it was also by his ball. This makes me unsure if he ingested it. The amount in the garbage can was about 3 or 4 tablespoons of dried adhesive scraps in addition to a few tortilla chips-nothing else was in the garbage can. What are my changes of my dog getting sick and how much would he need to ingest to be dangerous? He is a 80-90lb german shepherd in good health. Also he is very difficult to take to the vet (has to be muzzled) and only emergency vets open now very pricey so I would really like to avoid this unless dire emergency. And he appears to be fine. What is the best suggestion in this scenario?
Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

If there is any chance of Ethylene Glycol, then your best option is to go to an ER vet for prophylactic treatment. We'll check baseline kidney values, put them on IV fluids with Ethanol for 24 hours and then recheck kidney values. If normal, they go home at that point. This is to prevent the conversion of Ethylene Glycol to the toxic metabolites. Once that conversion takes place and it affects the kidneys, we can't do anything and those dogs die of kidney failure.

I know it's expensive, but you only have an 8-12 hour window to start this treatment to prevent issues in the future. We just don't have a good test for Ethylene Glycol anymore to see if treatment is needed, so any time there is a potential exposure, I'll do that prophylactic treatment.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Dr. Gary and 7 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok, thank you. I was hoping such a small (potential) amount would not require an emergency visit. I simply can't afford $2,000 or more for ER visit-especially when he displays no symptoms. What is the likelihood he would display no symptoms after ingesting- do most dogs have some sort of reaction? Thanks sorry I won't ask anything more after this.

Most dogs will show signs of intoxication- incoordination, nausea, falling over, vocalizing- within 6-8 hours of an ingestion. They then show signs of kidney failure (increased drinking/ urination, vomiting, lethargy, decreased appetite) the following 24-48 hours after.

If you're not seeing any signs and it's been a while, then it was probably not a true ethylene glycol ingestion after all. In that case, nothing is needed.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank You for your advice