Aldicarb toxicity

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Aldicarb (Temik) is a carbamate insecticide/nematocide which is used to control plant insects.

Toxicity related to this chemical is usually associated with accidental ingestion or malicious poisoning[1]. In many countries, its use is regulated through license, restricted to agricultural soil application and thus limiting accidental ingestion by dogs and other mammals[2].

Aldicarb poisoning should be considered an emergency as this chemical is rapidly lethal and prompt rapid diagnose is essential for survival of the canine patient.

Clinical signs include muscle tremors, ptyalism, vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, seizures may be evident.

Hematological studies usually show varying degrees of metabolic acidosis and hyperglycemia[3].

Pneumonia and temporary polyneuropathy are infrequent but potential complications of this disease[4].

Diagnosis is based on historical evidence of exposure to the chemical and presenting chemical signs, augmented with chemical analysis of vomitus or gastric contents at postmortem.

A differential diagnosis would include strychnine, metaldehyde or organophosphate poisoning.

Treatment requires induction of emesis with apomorphine, followed by aggressive intravenous fluid therapy and response-dependent doses of atropine[5].

Severely affected dogs may die from respiratory arrest or require euthanasia if therapy results in no clinical improvement.

Additional supportive treatment may be required, including diphenhydramine, methocarbamol, pralidoxime, diazepam or induction of general anesthesia with thiopentone to stabilize seizures.

Gastric lavage should be considered, using activated charcoal.

Most dogs that recover show clinical improvement after 24 hours.

References

  1. Motas-Guzmán M et al (2003) Intentional poisoning of animals in southeastern Spain: a review of the veterinary toxicology service from Murcia, Spain. Vet Hum Toxicol 45(1):47-50
  2. Frazier K et al (1999) 162 cases of aldicarb intoxication in Georgia domestic animals from 1988-1998. Vet Hum Toxicol 41(4):233-235
  3. Anastasio JD & Sharp CR (2011) Acute aldicarb toxicity in dogs: 15 cases (2001-2009). J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio) 21(3):253-260
  4. McEntee K et al (1994) Acute polymyopathy after carbamate poisoning in a dog. Vet Rec 135(4):88-90
  5. Arnot LF et al (2011) Treatment rationale for dogs poisoned with aldicarb (carbamate pesticide). J S Afr Vet Assoc 82(4):232-238