How to Spot an Animal with Pesticide Poisoning How to Spot an Animal with Pesticide Poisoning

Pesticides are manufactured for specifically acting on different target organisms; herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides are some important categories of pesticides. In certain cases, pesticides tend to have toxic effects on both humans and animals. Pesticides are formulated in laboratories to specifically attack particular organ systems of pests; sometimes, these formulations end up harming the very same organ systems in animals.

Pyrethrin and Pyrethroids

Pyrethrin and pyrethroids are the main ingredients of flea and tick control products. These compounds lead to toxicity if accidentally ingested by animals. Toxicity due to pyrethrin occurs rarely. However, cats and dogs with pyrethrin toxicosis show excessive salivation, vomiting, seizures, and tremors. Similar symptoms are observed in pyrethroid poisoning. Immediately take the affected animal to the veterinarian as soon it shows any of these symptoms.

Organophosphates and Organocarbamates

Organophosphates and organocarbamates constitute a class of compounds that are commonly used in animal care products and pesticides. These compounds are the ones that most commonly lead to toxicity in animals. In case of application of these compounds in amounts greater than that recommended for use or their accidental ingestion can lead to nerve imbalance in the animal. Animals with organophosphate poisoning show salivation, staggering, seizures, and tremors. Those that have been moderately poisoned with these compounds vomit a lot and have slower pulse rates.

Citrus Extracts

Citrus extracts are now being increasingly used to control fleas and ticks in pets. Though natural, these extracts are capable of producing toxic reactions in animals if they are not used as recommended. If you see your pets staggering, losing body heat, or salivating, take it as an indication of citrus extract poisoning. Some other related symptoms include hypersensitivity and skin rashes, particularly in sensitive areas such as the scrotum or the vulva. Citrus extract-based products have been known to sometimes be fatal to cats; hence, it is advisable to dispose such products if you have cats at home.


Most herbicides, pesticides, wood preservatives, and insecticides contain arsenic. Upon ingestion, arsenic leads to poisoning. Arsenic is an irritant of the gastrointestinal tract. Animals with arsenic poisoning suffer from stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhea, coma, and death. In most cases, animals do not survive for more than a few hours of severe arsenic poisoning.


Metaldehyde, warfarin, strychnine, and thallium are among the most commonly used rodenticides. They are among the most toxic pesticides. If your pet has accidentally eaten up your rodenticide-drenched bait, then it shows symptoms of poisoning. If it ingests a rodent that, in turn, has eaten rodenticide-drenched baits, the pet will show symptoms of secondary poisoning. Lethargy, weakness, depression, and anemia are symptoms commonly seen in pets with mild poisoning. Violent seizures, hemorrhage, respiratory paralysis, and death are symptoms seen in those with severe poisoning. The action of these pesticides is very rapid. Do not wait to take your pet to the veterinarian if you detect any such symptoms.

Practice Caution

Pesticides are capable of affecting the immune system, the DNA, and the central nervous system. The effects of poisoning can be long-term. Remember to keep animals away from areas that have been newly treated with pesticides. Practice extreme caution when using baits.

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