1. Contact your veterinarian immediately.
  2. It is highly recommended that you take your pet to your veterinarian for decontamination as soon as possible.
  3. Bring along the toxin your pet has ingested, with its package insert and/or label for confirmation of the specific chemicals involved and calculation of dose ingested to allow the vet to determine the severity of toxicity and treatment plan.
  4. In cases of dermal exposure, seek further advice from your vet. Depending on the severity of signs, you may be instructed to try washing off the chemicals from your pet’s body before bringing it in to the clinic to minimise further absorption and progression of clinical signs of poisoning. However, if your pet is in a critical condition, seek veterinary care immediately.


Disulfoton (Di-Syston), Terbufos (Counter), Phorate( Thimet), Parathion chlorpyrifos (Dursban), Fenthion (Spotton ), Diazinon and Malathion.



Chlorpyrifos (Dursban®) is especially toxic to cats.


Oral overdose can result in clinical signs within 10 minutes of ingestion, with death occurring within 30 minutes in severe cases. Dermal (skin) exposure or ingestion of delayed-release products may have a slower onset of clinical signs, approximately 12-24 hours or longer.

Early Signs:

  • Salivation
  • Excess tear production
  • Urination
  • Defecation/Diarrhoea
  • Inappetance
  • Coughing
  • Constricted pupils
  • Difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain/discomfort

Intermediate Signs:

  • Anxiety, restlessness
  • Muscle tremors (progressing from head to whole body)
  • Generalised muscle stiffness (sawhorse stance)
  • Weakness (paresis) and uncoordinated/unsteady gait (ataxia)
  • Paralysis
  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)

Late Signs:

  • Anxiety, restlessness
  • Hyperactivity/Depression
  • Seizures
  • Depressed respiration
  • Blue mucous membranes (cyanosis)
  • Collapse
  • Coma, Death


Carbamate insecticides cause nerves/neurons to remain in constant activity and excitation.


Veterinary care may involve inducing vomiting if ingestion occurred within the hour. If deemed necessary, a gastric lavage may also be performed to evacuate the contents in your pet’s stomach to get rid of any remaining drugs in its system. Multiple doses of activated charcoal should be given to absorb any more circulating drugs/toxins in the system.

Your pet may need to be hospitalised for further treatment and management. Blood tests may be done to aid in assessment and monitoring of the patient and your pet may require intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the toxins from its system.


Blodgett DJ (2006) Organophosphate and Carbamate Insecticides In: Small Animal Toxicology. 2ndEdn. Peterson ME & Talcott PA. USA: Elsevier Saunders. pp.941-955

Junquera P (2013) Carbamates for veterinary use on livestock, viewed 15/11/13, from parasitipedia.net…