What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in dogs? A Complete Guide

Signs of carbon monoxide exposure in pets

  • Irritable behaviour: watch for sudden or unusual behaviour such as aggression or anxiety. For example, they may suddenly become more fearful of noises, children and other animals
  • Resisting or refusing to enter the house after being outside
  • Vomiting
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bright cherry red lips, ears, and gums
  • Unusual intolerance to exercise they usually partake in.
  • Recovery of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs

    Follow up appointments may be necessary to determine complete recovery from carbon monoxide poisoning. After your pet arrives home, physical activity should be limited for 3-4 weeks. Rest and proper diet and water are good for healing.

    Check all equipment for gas leaks and install carbon monoxide monitors to ensure the problem has been taken care of. Carbon monoxide gas has no color, no odor and is not irritating. Without a carbon monoxide monitor, there is no way of knowing it is present until symptoms of sickness arise.

    Keep all equipment that uses gas, kerosene or propane well maintained. Be sure there are no cracks in hoses. When performing maintenance, do so in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors and/or with fans to disperse any gas fumes.

    Never to leave a pet in an enclosed space without some form of ventilation and airflow.

    Diagnosis of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs

    Diagnosis is based on symptoms and possibility of exposure to carbon monoxide. Your veterinarian will want to know where the pet was throughout the day, whether carbon monoxide sources were nearby, and whether other pets or family members are experiencing similar symptoms. Pets having difficulty breathing or collapsed pets will be treated with oxygen and supportive therapy immediately, prior to diagnosis.

    Blood analysis can determine increased creatinine kinase levels and low blood pH (acidosis), both seen with carbon monoxide poisoning. Carboxyhemoglobin levels in the blood will be elevated.

    Carbon monoxide poisoning in pets