Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Borax poisoning

Synonym(s): Antiseptic, disinfectant, boric acid, calcium borogluconate, sodium tetraborate.

Introduction

  • Cause: ingestion of commercial insecticides often used in homes.
  • Formulated as tablets and powder to kill larvae in livestock confinement areas and cockroaches in residences.
  • Signs: borax dust is moderately irritating to skin. Inhaled dust causes respiratory tract irritation, cough and dyspnea.
  • In man: gastrointestinal (GI) tract, skin, vascular system.
  • Diagnosis: history, clinical signs.
  • Treatment: emesis, gastric lavage, intravenous fluids, correcting metabolic acidosis.
  • Prognosis: usually good.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Fungicide used in forestry work.
  • Single or repeated exposure to disinfectant/antiseptic.
  • Iatrogenic lavage of serous cavities, enemas, or application to serous skin.

Pathophysiology

  • Borates rapidly absorbed by gut and by abraded or burned skin.
  • They are efficiently excreted by the kidney.
  • May persist in soil for long periods.
  • 40-60% excreted within 24 hours.
  • Repeated exposure may → accumulation.
  • LD50 2-5 g/kg.
  • Toxic dose 2-3 g/kg.
  • Rapidly absorbed GI tract.
  • Toxic to kidneys/CNS.

Timecourse

  • Signs usually appear acutely after large dose.
  • Death may occur <5 days after fatal dose.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Smith C A (1995) Searching for safe methods of flea control. JAVMA 206 (8), 1137-43 PubMed.
  • Pfieffer C C, Hallman L F & Gerson I (1945) JAMA 1 28, 266.

Other sources of information

  • D Humphreys Veterinary toxicology.3rd edn. Bailliere Tindal. pp 25.
Internet
  • http://www.vetinfonet.com/toxo.htm.

Organisation(s)


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