Animals most affected
Dogs (cats, all other species).
Direct ingestion (particularly by dogs), inhalation, accidental splashing of acid-based
Baits containing strong acids have been used to poison dogs (e.g. sponges soaked
Corrosive agents, caustic if solutions of sufficiently high concentration. Severe
dehydration of tissues (particularly with sulphuric acid).
If in contact with skin or mucous membranes:
burns, often accompanied by tissue erosion and ulceration;
brown or yellow discoloration of tissues (nitric acid).
Contact with eyes:
ulceration of the cornea, occasional destruction of eye tissue, opacity and blindness.
Inhaladon of fumes or acidic vapours:
severe dyspnoea, suffocation, respiratory distress;
cyanosis of the mucous membranes.
ulcerations, severe burns of the buccal and oropharyngeal mucosae, with intense
vomiting, colic, diarrhoea;
shock, trembling, shivering;
death or survival, but latter with attendant risk of peritonitis, or cicatricial
stenosing of the oesophagus and pylorus.
erosion and ulceration of skin and mucous membranes;
enteritis, perforation of the gastrointestinal tract;
brown or yellow discoloration of those tissues in direct contact with the acid.
Do not induce vomiting, or perform gastric lavage;
neutralize with weak diluted bases (2% sodium bicarbonate, magnesium: oxide or
gastric demulcents, antacids, (aluminium hydroxide gel).
Following inhalation or injection
symptomatic treatment for shock, analgesia, administration of corticosteroids
Following contact with the skin or mucous membranes
wash area with copious amounts of water (either with or without soap) taking
care not to rub the area.
Following contact with the eye
irrigate well with running water, then with normal saline, instill anaesthetic
A Pinscher dog was playing with a container of toilet descaler (hydrochloric acid)
and swallowed an unknown amount. The animal was taken as an emergency case to a veterinary
surgery where it presented with intractable vomiting, foamy in appearance, and in
a state of shock. Examination of the mouth revealed a cyanosed and burnt tongue (resembling
cardboard and fibrous in aspect), in addition haematuria developed. Despite treatment,
the animal died within a few hours.