Some dogs eat everything under the sun—from rocks to even asphalt. Asphalt is found all over the country, and it’s commonly used for road construction.
Because asphalt changes its viscosity with the weather, it’s possible your fur baby could walk into asphalt and get it on his feet. More than likely he would ingest some of this material. Is it harmful to dogs?
What is Asphalt?
Asphalt, also called bitumen, is a sticky, black substance that’s made from petroleum products. It may be found in nature or be man-made.
This substance is made up of phenols including:
- Naphthene aromatics
- Polar aromatics
- Saturated hydrocarbons
Can be used for multiple purposes such as in road construction. In this instance, the substance acts as a glue or binder when mixed with other particles. It’s also used as waterproofing products for the roof such as roofing felt, sealing flat roofs, and more.
Asphalt is Toxic to Dogs
Asphalt is a known toxin for dogs. It’s even possible to absorb the phenols just by touching the asphalt. And if a dog has walked through viscous asphalt, he could get it all over his feet.
You know what dogs do; they chew off things that get stuck on their feet. There’s the danger that a dog could accidentally ingest asphalt as a result.
The symptoms of phenol poisoning in dogs includes:
- Necrosis of the skin
- Necrosis of mucus membranes
- CNS depression
Symptoms can start as soon as 15 minutes from the time your dog ate the asphalt. The worst part is that this can sometimes be fatal. Asphalt causes chemical burns of the mouth and esophagus. It also can damage the kidneys, liver, blood, heart, mouth and esophagus.
What to Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Asphalt
In this situation, do not induce vomiting, unless advised to do so by the vet. Vomiting up the asphalt can result in chemical burns. So, the best thing is to call the vet if your dog has ingested asphalt.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Asphalt Poisoning in Dogs
When you arrive at the vet, they will perform a physical exam. They may also order lab work to check blood chemistry and blood cell count. This will help to provide the vet with the information they need to determine how to treat asphalt poisoning.
Asphalt poisoning can be a life-threatening medical issue. If you know your canine companion has ingested this substance, then call the vet immediately. They will have the information on what to do and how to treat asphalt toxicity in dogs.