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Palm oil ingestion in dogs [abstract]

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Bates N, Ellison J, Edwards N. 2015 Palm oil ingestion in dogs [abstract]. Clin Toxicol 53(4):275.
Palm oil ingestion in dogs [abstract]
Bates N
Ellison J
Edwards N
Clinical Toxicology
2015 vol: 53 (4) pp: 275
Objective: Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil, which is semi- solid at room temperature. It is used in
processed foods, toilet- ries and as a biofuel. Palm oil from transport ships washing out their tanks off
the coast of Britain regularly washes up on some beaches; however, in the winter of 2013-2014
severe weather resulted in large quantities appearing around the coast which lead to ingestion by
dogs walked on beaches. Warnings were widely publicised in the press with reports of fatal exposure
attributed to palm oil ingestion. Methods: Retrospective analysis of cases of palm oil ingestion in dogs
reported to the VPIS in the winter of 2013 to 2014. Results: Information was available on 41 individual
cases. Of these, 31 dogs (78%) remained asymptomatic. The dose ingested in most cases was
unknown but up to 1.7 kg of oil was reported in one case. Of the 10 symptomatic dogs (24%), all had
vomit- ing. Other signs were diarrhoea (n ? 3), hypersalivation (n ? 2), lethargy/dullness (n ? 2), cough
(n ? 2), belching (n ? 2) and inappetence (n ? 1). One dog had a mild cough lasting 3 days. There
were only 2 dogs with complications. One had aspiration pneumonia after ingestion of palm oil (and
administration of an emetic) with a strong diesel odour. It recovered over 7 days. Another dog had
signifi cant gastrointestinal signs and elevated liver enzymes but recovered. Of the 41 cases, 10 dogs
received no treatment; 6 received an emetic, 6 gut protectants, 4 intrave- nous fl uids and 3
antiemetics. All dogs recovered. In addition a practice in South-West England collectively reported
more than 10 cases. All were seen within 30-60 minutes and given apomorphine emetic and activated
charcoal. Some had gastro- intestinal signs but none required IV fl uids and all recovered
uneventfully. Conclusion: In over 50 cases reported to the VPIS of palm oil ingestion in dogs most
remained asymptomatic. Vomiting occurred in all symptomatic dogs. There was no evidence to
suggest that palm oil ingestion in dogs can be fatal. In addition, there is no place for the use of
emetics in the management of palm oil ingestion in dogs as it may result in complications.
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