Most soaps, both laundry and dishwasher, contain chemicals, that when ingested in small amounts will cause pets to respond to the unpleasant taste by drooling, vomiting and/or having diarrhea. But there is a new danger now with the highly concentrated, prepackaged laundry or dishwasher detergent pods. Some of the pods look like candy and come in brightly colored packages. There have been increasing reports from Pet Poison Helplines and Children’s Hospitals of poison cases related to the pod products. The problem arises when the pet bites into the pod, the product is both highly concentrated and under pressure from the bite, so the detergents are forcefully expelled and then may be inhaled into the lungs or swallowed.
Over the past 2 years, the cases reported to the Pet Poison Helpline, 72% of the pets developed clinical signs (illness related to the pods). The most common signs were vomiting, cough, lethargy (acting tired) and problems breathing.
When the exposure occurs it is very important for the pet owner to dilute the exposed site as much as possible. The owner needs to rinse the mouth, skin or eyes with water until the slick “soapy” feeling is gone. If there is vomiting or trouble breathing, the owner needs to contact their veterinarian right away.
There is no antidote for the soap, so the treatment is mainly supportive – to nurse your pet through this incident.
(dvm360, January 2015)