Prospective study on the use of hydrogen peroxide as an emetic agent in dogs | Dr. Alicia Niedzwecki | VETgirl Veterinary Continuing Education Podcasts
In this VETgirl online veterinary continuing education podcast, we interview Dr. Alicia Niedzwecki, DACVECC, on a recent study that she performed entitled Effect of oral 3% hydrogen peroxide used as an emetic on the gastroduodenal mucosa of healthy dogs. In this study, Dr. Niedzwecki performed a prospective study aimed to investigate the effects of 3% hydrogen peroxide on the gastrointestinal mucosa in healthy dogs when ingested in amounts we routinely use for emesis induction. What’d they find? Maybe we shouldn’t be using hydrogen peroxide in our veterinary poisoned canine patients after all, as evidence of esophagitis, gastritis and gastric ulceration can be seen. This study supports that hydrogen peroxide is not as benign as perhaps we once thought. While the authors’ take away from this study was that the use of hydrogen peroxide shouldn’t be recommended for at-home use in pet owners unless the benefits outweigh the risks, the toxicologist in me is going to take a little bit of a different take on it. VETgirl will likely still use it as an emetic agent (again, only in dogs), but now I’m going to add on gastric protectants and antacids for 1-2 weeks post-administration of hydrogen peroxide.
Keep in mind that if a poisoned dog cannot be presented in a timely fashion to a veterinary clinic that can administer apomorphine, and if the substance ingested is too dangerous to treat supportively, then the recommendation for hydrogen peroxide administration can be made, but the pet owner should be warned of the gastrointestinal consequences that can arise. Special consideration should be made for patients with known preexisting gastrointestinal disease before recommending emesis induction with hydrogen peroxide. When in doubt, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for life-saving advice!
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