Case Description—2 dogs were evaluated because of vomiting and lethargy (a Toy Poodle; dog 1) and acute respiratory distress, vomiting, and anorexia (a Chihuahua; dog 2). Dog 1 had been exposed to a commercial hydrocarbon waterproofing spray 24 hours before the development of clinical signs, and dog 2 was examined 18 hours after exposure to a waterproofing spray containing heptane, a highly flammable liquid hydrocarbon.
Clinical Findings—In both dogs, major gastrointestinal tract abnormalities were ruled out but respiratory status worsened. Thoracic radiography revealed a diffuse interstitial pulmonary pattern, and hypoxemia was detected.
Treatment and Outcome—Hospitalization for monitoring and care was required for both dogs. The dogs recovered with supportive care, which included administration of oxygen, fluids, and bronchodilators. Additionally, dog 1 received glucocorticoids via inhalation and supplemental enteral nutrition, whereas dog 2 was treated with an antimicrobial.
Clinical Relevance—The dogs of this report developed hydrocarbon pneumonitis following exposure to waterproofing sprays. Such sprays contain potentially toxic hydrocarbons. The severity of the adverse effects associated with exposure may have been amplified because the dogs were physically small and were exposed to a relatively large amount of aerosolized spray within small areas. Development of chemical pneumonitis in pet animals is best prevented by application of waterproofing sprays in well-ventilated or outdoor areas from which pets have been excluded. With prolonged hospitalization and considerable monitoring and care, affected dogs can recover from these exposures.