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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26925
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My Maltese got into some road tar. I used mineral spirits

Customer Question

My Maltese got into some road tar. I used mineral spirits to remove it, which caused skin irritation and she is now panting, possibly from pain. We washed and rinsed her thoroughly. Is there anything we should be doing to relieve the skin irritation and avoid further issues?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
It's not uncommon to mistake mineral spirits for mineral oil which is the treatment of choice to make road tar miscible and more easily removed. Mineral spirits inflame the skin which in sufficient amount can be painful as evidenced by Daisy's panting. There's no specific antidote and so thorough washing was appropriate and now an analgesic should be administered. Aspirin at 10 mg/lb with food twice daily should reduce the inflammation and be analgesic. If additional analgesia is needed, her vet can prescribe a narcotic such as tramadol. Cool water baths can constrict the cutaneous vasculature and reduce inflammation as well.
Watch for GI signs - inappetence, vomiting and/or diarrhea that may need to be addressed by an on-call vet. Severely affected dogs may demonstrate central nervous system signs - depression, mainly. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.