The anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and calming properties of Epsom salt have made it a popular remedy for a wide variety of ailments.
Is it true that magnesium sulfate, a chemical compound, is helpful for dogs as well?
Well, here’s the deal:
If your dog soaks in a bath containing Epsom salt and then drinks the water, it could be harmful.
Find out more about the benefits of this all-natural remedy for your pet…
Salt Poisoning in Dogs
The vast majority of dog owners already know what to avoid around their canine companions.
If you count yourself among them, multiply that list of options by several hundred. Toxic substances for dogs are practically endless.
Did you know that canine eye drops can be fatal? Why not acorns?
Large doses of any drug, including Xanax or Nyquil, can be dangerous, but have you ever considered the rotting meat covered in maggots that your dog might eat when you’re not looking?
Some of them will be completely foreign to you and your dog, and you’ll never have to worry about them.
Epsom salt is an item you might come across. In addition to relieving muscle soreness and removing toxins from the system, Epsom salts have many other applications in the home. The salts can also be used as a laxative, though this is not a typical or advised application.
If your dog ingests Epsom salt, how should you treat it?
All forms of salt are potentially lethal to dogs. However, it is important to distinguish between table salt and Epsom salt because they have different effects on your dog’s body.
Dogs should be kept out of the bathroom while the owner is taking a bath, until the water has been drained and the tub has been rinsed if the owner enjoys taking scented salt baths or using foot soaks on cold Winter evenings.
Epsom Salt Vs. Table Salt
Common salt, or sodium chloride, is the main mineral component of table salt. As far as science goes, it’s made up of two ingredients: sodium and chlorine.
The effects of giving your dog too much sodium chloride (for example, in its dog food) can range from neurological impairment to gastrointestinal stress to cardiovascular damage.
Extreme thirst and urination can lead to severe dehydration. Large amounts of water consumption or intravenous fluid injections are then required to remedy the situation.
It’s important to remember that water alone won’t help a dog with severe (table) salt poisoning. Get in touch with your vet or a pet poison control center right away if you suspect that your dog has salt poisoning.
However, the chemical composition of Epsom salts is distinct. The mineral Epsomite, which is magnesium sulfate, is the source. Magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S), and oxygen (O) are the three elements that make up its chemical composition.
As a result of these chemical components, even a small amount of Epsom salts can have profound effects on the human body.
Sulfur has strong antibacterial effects. As the magnesium permeates the skin, it eliminates toxins and strengthens the immune system. Oxygen improves blood flow, which in turn aids in maintaining healthy body temperature and other parameters.
This isn’t the case, at least not on the inside, with your dog.
The Causes of Epsom Salt Poisoning in Dogs
It’s highly unlikely that your dog would regularly come across Epsom salt unless you left him unattended with or in a bath filled with the salt.
That is, unless he develops opposable thumbs, discovers your supply of Epsom salt, and decides to snack on it.
(That will never, ever happen!) However, it is recommended that you store it in the farthest corner of the closet just in case.
Why then do dogs sometimes become poisoned by Epsom salt?
The main offender is a bath full of salt water that your dog drinks greedily. Epsom salt water with a high salt concentration is a surefire way to poison your dog.
The second, less common, scenario involves exposing an untrained puppy or dog to an open container of salt.
It’s understandable that you’d be wondering “But why would I do that?”
A lot of veterinarians advocate canine Epsom salt soaks.
Dog owners often use Epsom salt baths to ease their pets’ arthritic discomfort, stiffness, and injury-related soreness. Since salt completely dries fleas out, bathing your dog in a diluted salt solution can also help to kill fleas.
When your dog drinks a lot of salty bath water, they risk salt poisoning. They should be fine if they lick the tub once or twice and only consume a small amount.
This is why it’s best to only soak the affected areas instead of completely submerging them in the treated water.
What Happens When A Dog Eats Epsom Salt?
If taken in large enough quantities, Epsom salts can cause metabolic alkalosis. Raised pH levels, or metabolic alkalosis, can have devastating effects.
The following are some of the most typical manifestations of metabolic alkalosis:
Lack of Strength
abnormal heart rhythms
The twitching and spasming of muscles
Insufficient Fluid Intake
Ileus: total bowel paralysis
Similar to salt poisoning, other symptoms may present themselves. The following are some of them:
Delirium, or extreme mental confusion
To have fits of convulsions
Extreme dry mouth and urination
Accumulation or retention of fluids
Increased heart rate, also known as tachycardia
Depression and apathy
Symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
discomfort in the abdomen
Signs of illness: Tongue Bloating
Outward manifestations of inebriation, such as staggering or other imbalanced movements
Diarrhea with a lot of water
Coma and death can occur in extreme cases of metabolic alkalosis and salt poisoning.
The aforementioned symptoms won’t always be readily apparent. The fact that your dog is suffering from a severe headache is something you might not even notice.
But there are many signs that your dog is uncomfortable that you can observe, such as excessive panting. If your dog isn’t particularly talkative, you just need to learn to read his body language.
Diagnosis of Epsom Salt Poisoning
You would have to have caught your dog in the act of eating too much salt or taken him to the vet to get tested to know for sure if he has salt poisoning.
Your veterinarian will conduct a complete physical exam. Your dog’s reflexes, body temperature, pulse, height, weight, blood pressure, and breathing should all be evaluated. A quick eye and ear exam will also be performed to ensure that no symptoms have been overlooked.
Bring your dog’s vaccination records and any information you have about his history of injuries or illnesses.
Describe in great detail to your vet any abnormal behaviors you have observed in your dog, such as a loss of appetite or lack of activity.
If your dog has accidentally ingested anything other than Epsom salts, you must inform your veterinarian immediately.
They will want to know how much you think he ate and how long ago it was that he last consumed it. Make a list of the signs you’ve seen in your dog if at all possible.
The next step is for your vet to prepare your dog for the tests. They will take a full blood count and analyze the chemistry and gases in your blood. Your dog’s urinalysis will also reveal the levels of magnesium, sulfate, and sodium in his or her system.
A full cardiac diagnostic will be the focus of the subsequent battery of tests. An electrocardiogram (EKG) will be performed to assess the health of your dog’s heart.
Radiographs (X-rays), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and ultrasound may also be used to assess the state of your dog’s brain, heart, and lungs.
Treatment For Epsom Salt Poisoning In Dogs
Once your veterinarian has finished with the necessary diagnostic procedures, treatment can begin. To prevent and treat dehydration, an intravenous fluid therapy regimen containing electrolytes will be administered to your dog via an intravenous catheter.
Reducing the high magnesium sulfate levels is the most crucial action.
Hypermagnesemia, caused by magnesium overload, progressively impairs respiratory, nervous system, muscular, and cardiovascular functions. Kidney failure, paralysis, and endocrine disorders are just some of the other possible outcomes.
Time needed to reduce magnesium sulfate levels in your dog ranges from one to three days. Most commonly, this is accomplished by giving the patient an intravenous (IV) bag containing fluids, electrolytes, and warm water enemas.
In addition to the heart attack and edema risks, your dog’s extreme dehydration raises those risks significantly. Your dog may also receive an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid if edema is present.
Your veterinarian may keep your dog in their care for as long as 24 hours after the treatment has been completed to ensure the best possible outcome.
This is to make sure he and his family are safe and sound before allowing them to go home again. If your dog isn’t improving after 48 hours in the hospital, your vet may decide to keep him there for longer.
The Recovery Process
Your dog will need a lot of rest after you bring him home from the vet.
His diet and level of activity during his recuperation period will likely be guided by your veterinarian’s recommendations. You must keep a close eye on him and guarantee that he has access to food and clean water at all times.
It may take a few weeks to a month to feel better. At this time, it’s crucial that you strictly adhere to your veterinarian’s care instructions. Above all else, he will need the fluids and rest that your vet prescribes.
To maintain normal blood chemistry and blood sugar levels, he’ll likely need to eat more strictly as well. Your pet’s recovery diet should include lean meats, healthy carbohydrates, and vegetables.
The first few days at home with your new dog may be the most difficult in terms of getting him to eat and drink. The best way to hasten his recovery is for you to follow the instructions given to you by your vet, who should tell you how to get him to eat and drink.
A second visit within 30 days is standard practice. A follow-up checkup at the vet, including bloodwork, will be required for your canine companion. Doing so will help confirm that your dog’s central nervous system, cardiovascular system, hepatic system, and renal system are all functioning normally.
Under your vet’s guidance, you can get back to your regular routine once your dog has been given the all-clear. It is possible that he will not regain his full strength for some time, depending on the severity of the poisoning.
What to Do if You Think Your Dog Drank Epsom Salt Water Or Ate Epsom Salts
Call your vet or a pet poison hotline right away if you come home to find your bag of salt ripped open or if you catch your dog drinking your salted bath water.
The first things vets will want to know if your dog ingested Epsom salt are how much he swallowed and how long ago it happened. They’ll tell you to rush him to the vet if he ate through an entire bag.
If he doesn’t appear to have eaten much, they may recommend giving him a large amount of water and some food. Keep an eye on him for the next day or so as well. The extent to which he is impacted is totally reliant on his body mass index and the quantity of food he consumed.
He could start shaking and jerking, or he could have diarrhea and vomiting. Do not delay in bringing him to the vet if the symptoms are severe or he appears to be in pain. If the worst thing that happens is diarrhea, he should be fine.
Your veterinarian may recommend an electrolyte powder to be mixed with your dog’s water in the event of mild diarrhea. Pedialyte shouldn’t be given to your dog unless instructed otherwise.
While Pedialyte in moderation might be fine, there is no proof that it is helpful for dogs.
Giving your dog Pedialyte is not without its dangers. Pedialyte is formulated to meet the needs of human beings. It’s got a lot of sugar and sodium, and we know what that can do to dogs.
Even if your dog seems fine after a day and night of careful observation, you should still take him to the vet as soon as possible for a thorough checkup.
Be Aware of Epsom Salt Products
Epsom salts may be hiding in unexpected places all over your home. If you consider yourself a DIY expert, this is especially important to remember. Here is a list of remedies and cosmetics (both homemade and commercial) that include Epsom salts:
Ornaments for the Holiday Season
“Kid-Friendly” Recipe for Making “Glop” (a Horrible Hybrid of Play-Doh and Slime)
Bubble baths, epsom salts, and aromatic oils
Products for moisturizing the skin
Tablets for the dishwasher
Scrub your body
DIY Frosted Windows
Fertilizer for Plants
Because of its reflective qualities, Epsom salts are frequently used in projects where they are not needed.
The “snowy glow” it produces is stunning, but could be fatal to canines. Keep that in mind the next time you’re shopping for supplies at the craft store or planning a DIY project at home.
It’s important to keep an eye out for metabolic alkalosis and salt poisoning in your dog if it ingested Epsom salts. This is especially likely if your dog drank a lot of salty bath water or ate a lot of table salt, both of which contain magnesium sulfate.
Dehydration, weakness, lethargy, muscle twitches, and respiratory distress are some of the most prominent symptoms to look out for. Without prompt treatment, the dog’s condition can worsen to the point of seizures, coma, or even death.
So, if you think your dog has consumed the salts, you need to keep a close eye on it immediately. An emergency trip to the vet may be required, depending on the amount consumed and the symptoms displayed.
Once you get to the vet’s office, they’ll run the necessary tests to figure out what’s up and what to do. In severe cases, hospitalization and intravenous fluids may be necessary for treatment, but a full recovery is still possible with prompt medical attention.