Puppy Poison Control Hotline
July 26, 2008 9:27 AM   Subscribe

How concerned do I need to be if there is a small chance my 3-month-old puppy may have licked up some Combat Ant Killing Gel?

My 3-month-old puppy may have ingested a small amount of Combat Ant Killing Gel, which includes the poison Fipronil (0.001%). Fipronil is used in many pet products in higher concentration to kill fleas; obviously, not to be administered orally, but Wikipedia suggests what helps it to kill fleas and ants and such is that it affects glutamate receptors, which do not exist in mammals.

The topical solutions containing Fipronil are often absorbed through the skin, so I don't think this is a highly deadly poison to dogs, even puppies. The Combat website's pretty unhelpful when it comes to poison control. Puppy seems quite happy and puppyish now, but I'm wondering if, to be safe, I need to rush him to a vet - and I'm not even sure a vet would do anything but bill me for an emergency visit. What to do?

BTW, I had blocked off the area where the gel was applied, so he was not supposed to have access to the area. I told the SO why the area was blocked off, but somebody obviously wasn't listening and moved the block. *harumph*
posted by mrkinla to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
The ASPCA has a poison control center for animals. 1-888-426-4435.
posted by winston at 9:34 AM on July 26, 2008

A concentration of .0001% is so dilute (1 part per million) that your puppy would have to eat many times its own body weight of the gel to have any effect. According to the MSDS for Fipronil, the LD50 for rats (dose at which 50% of test subjects die) is 97mg/kg. That's for rats, so to give you a wide margin of error, let's assume that dogs are affected by 1/10th of that. That works out to your puppy having to eat 970kg of gel for every kg he weighs to reach the ld50 dose. Household insecticides are generally selected to exploit the fact that they're generally toxic to insects but pretty safe for mammals. The last thing the manufacturer wants is to get sued because someone's kid or pet ate some and died. But, to put your mind totally at ease, calling the ASPCA poison control center sounds like a good idea.
posted by TungstenChef at 10:13 AM on July 26, 2008

Oy, I should remember to preview before posting when I haven't had my coffee yet. Imagine what I said above, but without the grammatical errors.
posted by TungstenChef at 10:14 AM on July 26, 2008

My dog chewed on an ant trap one time and he was okay. IANAV.
posted by trbrts at 10:18 AM on July 26, 2008

Fuck yes we have glutamate receptors. We don't have glutamate-gated chloride channels. Fipronil will not kill your dog. It's the main ingredient in a topical tick and flea drug for dogs and cats, which is susceptible to being ingested, so don't worry.
posted by kldickson at 10:30 AM on July 26, 2008

Whoops, my math was off converting milligrams to kilograms (shouldn't do math before coffee either). Your dog would still have to eat 9.7 times his body weight in gel for him to reach 1/10th of a LD50 dose.
posted by TungstenChef at 10:42 AM on July 26, 2008

My dog licked/munched on a roach trap in a friend's apartment last year and I freaked out. She kept licking the air with a really weird look on her face. I kept an eye on her and rushed her to a vet. She stopped the weird licking within a half hour, and the vet said she was totally fine. Better safe than sorry, though. If your dog seems okay tonight, she's probably wasn't poisoned.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:48 PM on July 26, 2008

For future reference, I've called my local poison control number with pet-related questions on multiple occasions and they've always been able to help me. YMMV, of course, but worth noting.
posted by phaded at 6:45 PM on July 28, 2008

« Older how was your day at work?   |   How can I attach my Wii to a computer monitor? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.