fourth of july dogs Pet Problems   Muzzle Burns & Toxic Firework Ingestion

We’ve talked before about the importance of protecting your pets around popular times for fireworks, like the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. The loud noise of the firework displays can often cause dogs and cats serious distress. This distress can manifest by chewing, jumping through window, digging to escape, and running away. It’s always best to keep a pet inside or temporarily in a kennel or crate if you anticipate loud noises in your area. You can read more in a previous post we did on “Fireworks and Your Furry Friends.”

One area that we’ve never covered, however, is that pets may often try to eat fireworks.  The threat is twofold. The smoke and sparking ashes may also cause eye irritation and conjunctivitis. If the firework has recently fallen to the ground, the pet could suffer a burn on the mouth or muzzle. Another serious problem is that most fireworks contain compounds that are toxic to animals (and humans).  Fireworks are made with hazardous chemicals including potassium nitrate, which is an oxidizing agent. Charcoal, sulfur and coloring agents are also frequently used in fireworks and, if ingested, are dangerous heavy metals.

Ingestion of these toxic materials can cause your pet to develop gastrointestinal issues. You may see vomiting, a painful abdomen, and bloody diarrhea. In severe cases, seizures, acute kidney failure, bone marrow changes, shallow breathing and jaundice may occur. The severity of pet health issues resulting from ingestion will depend on the type of fireworks and the amount that was ingested. encourages you to follow best practices in pet care if you plan to shoot off fireworks or have a large public display happening in the vicinity. Make sure that firework debris is picked up and no toxic trash is left behind; think of not just your pet, but the other pets and animals that use the land in your area. If your pet does suffer burns from a firework or has eaten (or you suspect by the symptoms) has ingested some part of a firework, seek immediate medical attention from a veterinarian.