My Dog Ate Toothpaste! Now What?

Before bringing my dog home, I had no idea that they would eat practically anything. Now I realize that this also applies to toothpaste tubes.

Dogs will enjoy the same types of toothpaste humans use because many of them are formulated to have a sweet or pleasant taste.

More and more people are also brushing their dogs’ teeth as a way to promote good dental health. Some people, not without reason, may wonder if human toothpaste is harmful to dogs.

In either case, using toothpaste around dogs poses a significant risk, as we will see in the following section of this article.

What Is Dangerous In Human Toothpaste For dogs?

Xylitol, fluoride, plastic, and baking soda are the four components that make up the answer. Let’s see them closely.

Xylitol

Since xylitol is a sweetener, it is sometimes included in various formulations of toothpaste to make certain toothpaste more palatable to people like us. However, it is exceedingly dangerous for dogs to consume.

The dog’s system will think it’s gotten a sugar overload because of the xylitol. This results in an overabundance of the hormone insulin, which normally controls blood sugar levels. Weakness, lethargy, vomiting, “drunken” walking, and collapse can result from a severe drop in blood sugar caused by an overdose of insulin. Seizures and death are two possible outcomes.

Fluoride

Fluoride, either sodium fluoride or stannous/tin fluoride, is a common ingredient in human toothpaste. Since it is safe, is regularly added to human drinking water, and is very beneficial to dental health in low doses. However, extremely high concentrations may be harmful.

Severe vomiting and diarrhea, abundant saliva dribbling, restlessness, sweating, loss of appetite, weakness, stiffness, quick breathing, and rapid heart rate are common symptoms of fluoride toxicity in dogs. This is due to problems with the digestive organs, liver, kidneys, and lungs. In the worst case, this can cause seizures and even death.

Plastic

It is necessary to take into consideration the plastic of the tube and cap themselves since this material can also be rather harmful.

If it is swallowed, not only does it present the risk of choking since it can become stuck in the throat and cause suffocation, but it also has the potential to obstruct the intestines or the bowels.

Not all dogs have such good luck, and complications can arise at any point in the process. However, fortunate dogs may be able to immediately vomit them back up again, and in some cases, they may pass all the way through and come out at the other end.

However, not all dogs are this fortunate, and complications can arise at any stage. And the onset of symptoms may be delayed for a considerable amount of time after ingestion, depending on how far the substance gets and where it stops.

Baking soda

Again, this component is not included in all types of toothpaste, but it is frequently listed on the back of the tubes of the more popular brands because of its teeth-cleaning properties.

When it comes into touch with acidic substances and a liquid, it produces carbon dioxide, which causes the baked good to expand and rise.

If a dog consumes baking soda, it is reasonable to assume that some expansion will occur within the dog’s body.

This can be troublesome for several different reasons. It can lead to a blockage in the intestinal tract or the stomach, cause excessive gas, and cause a wide variety of other digestive problems.

What Are The Symptoms When Dogs Eat Toothpaste?

Your dog will suffer negative effects from ingesting toothpaste, the degree of which will depend on the toothpaste’s composition and the amount ingested. The symptoms vary depending on the size and how big your dog is.

If you think your dog has eaten toothpaste or see him has some of these symptoms, don’t delay in taking them to the clinic.

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abundant saliva dribbling
  • restlessness
  • sweating
  • loss of appetite
  • weakness
  • stiffness
  • quick breathing and rapid heart rate
  • lethargy
  • ataxia
  • black stool

How Do We Treat Toothpaste-Eating Dogs?

Before discussing how a veterinarian will remove any ingested plastic, we’ll examine the common methods used to deal with this potentially dangerous substance.

The treatment of a dog after it has ingested toothpaste mostly depends on the type of toothpaste and the amount ingested. Often, veterinarians will employ a specialized strategy to facilitate the rapid and safe elimination of any potentially harmful material.

Your vet may use a combination of treatments to help your dog. Your dog may still be in the early stages of sickness if it hasn’t started vomiting. To prevent the toxidrome from becoming more severe, your veterinarian may try to induce vomiting in your dog.

The majority of cases require hospitalization of the dog for intravenous (IV therapy). The vet will closely track your dog’s blood sugar levels, liver enzymes, potassium, phosphorus, and blood profile to ensure they remain within healthy ranges. You may need to bring your dog back for follow-up testing after it is released from the hospital.

Plastic Treatment

Your dog might need an injection to produce strong, reliable vomiting to expel the plastic fragments if it ingested the toothpaste cap or tube within the last four hours. The induction of vomiting is a potentially life-threatening procedure that should only be conducted by a veterinarian.

Depending on the size of the pieces eaten and the size of your dog, your veterinarian may advise permitting the plastic to pass through after more than four hours.

X-rays and/or ultrasounds may be ordered once the results of these examinations indicate the need for further research.

Plastic that becomes trapped or is located in an area where it can create more issues may necessitate surgical removal.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Already Consumed Toothpaste?

Suppose you suspect that your dog has consumed toothpaste. In that case, you should contact a veterinary practitioner, the Pet Poison Helpline, or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as soon as possible for guidance.

Treating your dog on your own is not recommended because this might worsen the problems and cause you to waste valuable time that could have been spent getting your dog treated. The vet will likely need to act immediately to ensure that any potentially harmful substance your dog has ingested is securely and expediently eliminated from its body.

It is also recommended that you have the specific brand of toothpaste you use (along with the bottle) available.

This will allow you to reveal the ingredients to the expert you are speaking with or read them out loud.

Is It Safe To Let Dogs Ate Their Toothpaste?

Dogs shouldn’t have any issues if they accidentally ingest dog toothpaste. However, it is not advisable or helpful for them to do so regularly.

Thankfully, there is now canine-specific toothpaste that is flavored and made without xylitol or fluoride. Use a dog’s toothbrush, which usually comes with toothpaste, or use a child’s soft toothbrush.

Check with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) for “approved goods” that vets believe would aid in your pet’s dental health. Do not use human toothpaste, as it can be toxic to dogs.

Future Prospects For Dogs Poisoned By Toothpaste

The severity of liver damage will determine the prognosis for your dog if it has been poisoned by toothpaste. After a few days in the hospital, if your dog’s electrolytes are stable, your vet may discharge it; however, your vet will likely want to visit your dog again in a few days to test it’s liver.

You can expect a full recovery if your dog’s liver is still functional after the occurrence. A less optimistic outlook is possible if your dog’s liver is still struggling after toothpaste poisoning. The specific prognosis for your dog should be discussed with your vet on an individual basis.

The Last Words: Toothpaste Is Dangerous For Dogs

Dogs should not ingest toothpaste or any part of a toothpaste tube.

Don’t let your dog lick the toothpaste tube or leave your toothpaste out where it can access it.

It’s easy to forget that this tiny bottle of oral health aid contains poisonous chemicals that might kill your dog.

Fortunately, most dogs that eat toothpaste never ingest enough to be dangerous.

Also, be sure you’re consulting the correct people for assistance.

Dogs that receive treatment immediately have a much better chance of making a full recovery.

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