My Dog Ate Desitin What Should I Do? (Reviewed by Vet)

Reviewed By Evie Moloney, RCVS •  Updated: 02/09/23 •  3 min read
Dog Severe Toxicity Level
The contents of the website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

Dog Ate Desitin

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

Has your dog eaten Desitin? Are you worried the Desitin will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We know it can be scary when your dog eats something he shouldn’t.

In this article, we’ll take a look at Desitin and whether or not it can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

What is Desitin?

Desitin is a product used for human babies. It works by treating and preventing diaper rash and skin irritations. The ointment works by creating a barrier on the skin, which protects against irritation and moisture.

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

Desitin carries the warning that it should only be used on the human baby’s skin, not ingested (it should not be eaten). The product contains 40% maximum-level zinc oxide. It also contains petrolatum, cod liver oil, lanolin, talc, glycerin, sorbitan sesquioleate, beeswax, tocopheryl acetate, and fragrance.

While Desitin is a safe product for babies’ skin, when used correctly, what about dogs?

Desitin & Dogs

Desitin can be toxic to dogs; however, in most cases, the dog would have to either eat a large amount or eat the ointment on a regular basis to have a toxic reaction. Having said that, it’s still possible a dog could experience some digestive tract issues from eating Desitin, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Another danger is that if a dog does eat the ointment, he could vomit. If the vomit is aspirated (gets into) into the lungs, this can cause a life-threatening condition called aspiration pneumonia.

One more concern is whether or not the dog has eaten the product’s packaging. If so, it’s possible the dog could develop an intestinal obstruction if the packaging becomes lodged somewhere in the intestines.

You should always contact your veterinarian for individual advice if you are concerned your pet may have eaten Desitin or its packaging.

Symptoms of Desitin Ingestion in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten Desitin:

If your dog starts to show any of these symptoms, then call the vet right away.

Treatment of Desitin Ingestion in Dogs

At the vet’s, they will perform a complete physical exam of your dog. In addition, the vet will probably run some lab work and other tests. The tests will show if your dog has developed anemia or other blood issues, as well as checking to make sure there’s no damage to the liver or kidneys.

Treatment may involve your fur baby having an IV (cannula) with fluids (putting your pet on a fluid drip to help flush out the toxins). The IV can also be used to administer other medications. If your dog has developed anemia, the vet may need to give your canine companion a blood transfusion.

The vet may also give your dog medications that treat irritation of the digestive tract (stomach protectant medication), along with medicine to stop diarrhea and vomiting.

In case your dog has eaten the product packaging, the vet may need to perform abdominal surgery. The surgery is done to remove the packaging and repair any damage to the digestive tract.

The good news is that most pets have a good chance of recovery from eating Desitin when prompt veterinary advice is sought and followed.

CheckedbyVets stamp

(Visited 12,299 times, 9 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

Evie Moloney, RCVS

This article has been reviewed and approved by an independent Veterinarian: Evie is a vet surgeon who graduated from the University College Dublin, which is the only university offering the veterinary medicine degree in Ireland. She really enjoys surgery and has also worked as an emergency and critical care vet. She is passionate about sharing education about preventative health care for pets, especially the importance of regular dog and cat teeth brushing at home. She also enjoys helping owners find practical solutions for keeping pets as comfortable as possible while living with conditions such as arthritis. When not working, she enjoys hiking and swimming.

Keep Reading