Okay, hopefully, your dog will not suffer any serious consequences from this incident.
Citronella is actually used in bark control collars, and in most cases, there's few adverse reactions and instances of toxicity.
Obviously drinking citronella oil is a bit different. It can hasten the heart rate and we don't know what other ingredients were in the solution that she drank. The ASPCA does list citronella candles on the list of hazardous items, but I've found other articles that say pure citronella oil isn't acutely toxic, though it's not meant to be ingested. So for this reason, I would recommend calling a poison control center for pets. They can look up the specific product and tell you the concentration of various ingredients and based on this, they can tell you exactly what to do. I dont' have that information, nor does your vet or anyone else....companies don't release the specifics on ingredients and concentrations or else competitors could copy their formula.
Here's the number I recommend:(888)(NNN) NNN-NNNN/strong>.
This is the ASPCA poison control center and they're open 24/7. There is a fee - I believe $55 - but that covers all calls relating to your case. They're a wonderful service and they can tell you exactly what to do for this particular product.
I would definitely expect gastric upset for a few days. And I can give you information on monitoring her - if a dog is intolerant of a particular substance, even if that substance isn't classically considered toxic, you can end up with a deadly reaction. So we'll want to monitor her closely for the next 24 hours.
In addition, you'll want to check out her vital signs. I would monitor these hourly until we get this all sorted out:
Just check these things two or three times a day and write down what you see, along with any other observations (i.e. how his appetite is) and be sure to bring it along on your next vet visit - this will help track his progress and it can be a valuable tool for diagnosis!
Temperature can be checked rectally with a bit of vaseline on the thermometer - this can give you an idea of general condition. It should be between 100-102. Anything below 100 or above 103 is a serious problem. A fever could also cause chills and shivering, so this is an important thing to check.
Checking the gums is an indicator of your dog's circulation. If there's internal bleeding, anemia, a disruption of normal blood flow, or serious illness, the gums will turn very pale, almost white in appearance. This means that the blood is not properly receiving oxygen or there's a loss of blood or red blood cells.
Normal gums will be bright pink to a pale pink. Abnormal gums are white with greyish, blue, or yellow.
Here is a link to a photo of normal gums:
Here is a link to a couple of photos of pale gums:
I should note that I've seen perfectly healthy dogs with gums that are slightly paler than those pictured in the "normal gums" picture, but there's always a distinct pink tone.
For more information on checking your dog's gums, visit:
The normal heart rate varies depending on the size and age of the dog. A puppy has a heart rate of about 180 beats per minute. And adult dog will have a rate between 60-160 beats per minute. Small toy breeds can have normal heart rates of 180 beats per minute. The rule is the younger the dog, the faster the heart rate (for puppies). And the smaller the dog, the faster the heart rate.
Normal pulse is between 60 and 120.
Also, you can check capillary refill time. If you apply firm pressure to the gums, the area should turn pale and then quickly return back to normal (you can try this on your own skin to see what I mean). If there's no difference, or if your dog's gums take a long time to return back to normal, there could be a problem. The gums should return to normal in no less than one second and no more than two 1/2 seconds.
I think this is a case where inducing vomiting would be beneficial. As long as she ate it within the past 2 hours, vomiting will help and it will get up between 40 and 60 % of the citronella. You give about two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide, wait about ten minutes for vomiting and if you see none, repeat.
I would also try to get fluids into her once we get the citronella up. Try some chicken or beef broth, or a clear soup. (onion free! Onions are toxic!). Or you can mix some clear fruit juice (no citrus) unflavored pedialyte or gatorade with water in a 50-50 mix. Anything we can do to get her to drink once we get the citronella up - fluids are a must when a pet is ill like this.
Here's more on citronella:
hope this helps give you some direction with your dog. I hope he's feeling better soon! Just "reply" if you have any additional questions, okay?
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