1. If your pet has developed signs following exposure to organophosphates, or ingested a bait, contact your veterinarian immediately.
  2. If instructed, induce vomiting or take your pet to the veterinarian so that this may be done.
  3. Vomiting should never be induced in tremoring, seizuring or comatose animals.
  4. Animals that have been exposed via skin contact should be carefully bathed in a mild dishwashing detergent. Excess fur should be clipped. Tick and flea collars should be removed.
  5. Veterinary care requires intensive care including activated charcoal or gastric lavage, intravenous fluids, medication to control seizures and cardiovascular/respiratory support. Oxygen is very important as most deaths occur due to respiratory complications.
  6. If possible, provide the packaging of the product ingested to your veterinarian to aid in identification of the toxin.


Organophosphates, chlorpyrifos, chlorfenvinphos, diazinon, demeton-S-methyl, dimpylate, dichlorvos, dimethoate, fenthion, fenitrothion, heptenophos, malathion, pirimiphos-methyl




  • Hypersalivation
  • Vomiting
  • Uncoordinated or wobbly gait (ataxia)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Muscle fasciculations/tremors
  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Increased sensitivity to touch (hyperaesthesia)
  • Difficulty breathing (dyspnoea)
  • Restlessness/hyperactivity
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Low heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Seizures


These insecticides inhibit the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, leading to excess stimulation of the nervous system.



Volmer P (2011) Insecticides. In: Small Animal Toxicology Essentials ed. RH Poppenga and SM Gwaltney-Brant. London: Wiley-Blackwell. Pp212-214.

BSAVA (2012) BSAVA/VPIS Guide to Common Canine and Feline Poisons. Gloucester: BSAVA.

Campbell A (2000) Organophosphate insecticides. In A Campbell & M Chapman (eds). Handbook of Poisoning in Dogs and Cats. Oxford: Blackwell Science.