( 4UMF NEWS ) Four People Hospitalized From Dog Vomit:
The puke examined at the Vail Valley Animal Hospital in Friday’s poisoning likely contained zinc phosphate, commonly found in rat bait, the Eagle River Fire Protection District said.
“When the pesticide comes into contact with water, it forms a toxic gas,” said fire inspector Gail McFarland, according to the Vail Daily. “When the dog threw up, this released the gas as the pesticide had mixed with the contents in the dog’s stomach.”
The dog, which later died, had been brought to the Edwards-based clinic for treatment. Its owner wasn’t identified, and it was unclear where it came into contact with the chemical.
The fumes from the vomit caused three people to show signs of “respiratory distress,” while a fourth person was also taken to the hospital as a precaution. Their conditions weren’t immediately known Sunday.
Officials don’t believe anyone else was affected by the toxic fumes. Symptoms of exposure would include a burning sensation in the throat and breathing problems.
Cases of veterinary workers getting poisoned by dogs that have ingested pesticides are not uncommon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in April that a 70-pound dog in Michigan vomited rodenticide and poisoned two vet employees. Four others also showed symptoms, but none required hospitalization, according to the Los Angeles Times.
To protect themselves, animal experts say, workers should induce vomiting outdoors and stand upwind from the potential fumes.