MSD Manual

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Professional Version

Other Toxicants in Animals


Ramesh C. Gupta

, DVM, PhD, DABT, FACT, FACN, Toxicology Department, Breathitt Veterinary Center, Murray State University;

Robin B. Doss

, Breathitt Veterinary Center, Murray State University

Reviewed/Revised Aug 2022 | Modified Nov 2022


Solvents are required in most liquid insecticide preparations. Usually they have low toxicity, but like petroleum products (which many are), they must be considered as possible causes of poisoning.


Gastrointestinal irritation, narcosis, and kidney and liver damage are the main signs of acetone poisoning. Treatment consists of gastric lavage, oxygen, and a low-fat diet. Additional supportive treatment to alleviate clinical signs may be given.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol poisoning signs are gastrointestinal pain, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and CNS depression (dizziness, stupor, coma, and death from respiratory paralysis). The liver and kidneys are reversibly affected. Dehydration and pneumonia may occur. Treatment consists of emetics, gastric lavage, milk, oxygen, and artificial respiration.


Typical signs of methanol poisoning include nausea, vomiting, gastric pain, reflex hyperexcitability, opisthotonos, convulsions, fixed pupils, and acute peripheral neuritis. Large overdoses can lead to blindness. Toxic effects are due in part to the alcohol itself, and in part to formic acid produced by methanol’s oxidation. Treatment should include emetics (apomorphine) followed by gastric lavage with 4% sodium bicarbonate, saline laxative, oxygen therapy, sodium bicarbonate solution IV, and analgesics. However, the prognosis is poor. Intensive and prolonged alkalinization is the mainstay of treatment. Ethanol retards the oxidation of methanol and may be given as an adjunct therapy.

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