Laundry pod ingestions are a rather new toxicity that veterinarians are dealing with. From the perspective of a dog (or child, for that matter) these little pods look like a fun, tasty, treat! The problem is they are full of chemicals. Laundry detergents contain multiple different chemicals in a very concentrated form.
Another problem they pose is that the liquid is packed tightly inside the outer capsule, when the packet is pierced, especially by a tooth, it comes out with force, which can cause your pet to swallow it accidentally.
Although a small ingestion usually results in drooling or retching. An entire pod can cause some pretty serious effects. As I am sure you can imagine, when a laundry pod is vomited up, the vomitus is rather foamy! This causes a higher risk of aspiration (when fluid is accidentally inhaled into the lungs), which can cause a life-threatening lung infection. The liquid can also cause complications if it comes in contact the airways as it decreases natural oxygen exchange. Secondarily, if the detergent comes in contact with the eyes or skin, it can cause a significant irritation.
There is no known antidote for laundry pods at the moment. However, your veterinarian will want to treat your dog’s symptoms and avoid any further complications.
If you see your pet puncture or ingest a laundry pod:
- Rinse/wipe their mouth out, encourage them to drink water.
- Call Pet Poison Helpline @ 855-764-7661
- Head to your closest veterinary emergency clinic
Written by Caitlin Johnston, RVT