What Happens If a Dog Eats a Mothball?


Mothballs are toxic to dogs. If your dog has eaten a mothball, you need to contact your veterinarian immediately because your pet is in need of prompt emergency veterinary care. Consumption of mothballs can lead to serious illness and even death, depending on the size of your dog and the number of mothballs he has consumed.

About Mothballs

Mothballs are a type of pesticide. They are primarily used to repel moths and other insects but may also be used to help get rid of snakes, mice and other nuisance animals.

Mothballs may also be known or sold as:

  • Naphthalene
  • Paradichlorobenzene
  • PDB
  • Camphor
  • Moth repellants
  • Organochlorine

Mothballs and Your Pets

Mothballs release a toxic gas vapor that can be quite hazardous to household pets. Cats are more likely to be negatively affected by exposure to mothballs, but dogs can also suffer health problems as a result of being exposed to mothballs. This is especially true if your dog eats the mothballs.

Symptoms of mothball poisoning include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Edema or fluid retention
  • Excessive urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Tremors
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Kidney problems
  • Death

What To Do If Your Dog Has Ingested Mothballs

Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog has consumed mothballs or you believe he may have consumed mothballs based on his symptoms. Your veterinarian will most likely tell you to bring your dog in immediately for care. If possible, bring the box of mothballs with you. Your veterinarian may be able to use the information provided by the box to assist in treating your dog more effectively.

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