Project Description

Exposure to alkaline/basic consumer products can cause severe complications in animals. Due to irritation and corrosion, tissue damage is a particular risk.

Ingredients of concern include sodium hypochlorite, sodium carbonate, sodium hydroxide, and sodium silicate. These can be found in many household products including drain cleaners, dry cell batteries, hair relaxers, lye, non-chlorine bleach and oven cleaners.


Signs and symptoms of toxicity: Clinical signs of toxicity include vomiting (especially containing blood), bloody stool, abdominal pain, refusal to eat, coughing, and loud breathing.

Toxic consumption: There is no established threshold for toxicity. All incidents of exposure should be reported immediately. It is important to note that vomiting should not be encouraged as further tissue damage could occur.

Osweiler, G, et al. (2011). Blackwell’s five-minute veterinary consult clinical companion. Small Animal Toxicology. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from