Hydrocarbons, a broad group consisting of many chemical entities, can cause harm to household pets. The following are included in this classification:

  • gasoline
  • diesel
  • paint solvents
  • wood stains
  • wood strippers
  • turpentine
  • fuel used in tiki-torches
  • kerosene
  • engine oil
  • roofing tar/asphalt
  • liquid lighter fluids

It is important to properly store all such products tightly sealed and out of your pets’ reach.

Signs and symptoms of toxicity: skin irritation or burns, oral and/or tissue irritation, salivation, nausea, vomiting, difficulty walking, agitation, coughing, wheezing, and elevated body temperature. These signs often begin within a few hours of exposure.

Toxic consumption: Due to the numerous compounds within this classification, the level of toxicity is variable. All incidents of exposure should be reported immediately.

If a skin exposure has occurred the animal should be bathed with a non medicated, degreasing shampoo or hand-dishwashing detergent. Multiple baths are encouraged and you should still seek help immediately.

– Osweiler, G, et al. (2011). Blackwell’s five-minute veterinary consult clinical companion. Small Animal Toxicology. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
– Owens JG, Dorman DC. Common household hazards for small animals. Vet Med 1997; 92(2):140-148.