Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paintball Toxicity

Ingestion of large amounts of paint balls can result in toxicity and even death. Depending on the ingredients in the paint balls, the size of the pet and the amount eaten, various problems can occur. Common symptoms include vomiting and possibly diarrhea. Signs can progress to weakness, coma and seizures. Once toxic levels are reached in the body, the effect becomes apparent at which time you may notice restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination and possibly excessive panting. Heart rate levels may also be increased. Seizure activity may occur in severe cases. These signs can occur within a few hours of ingestion. Prompt veterinary care is recommended.It is unknown for sure the amount of paint balls that need to be ingested to cause toxicity. Some data suggests that a couple can even cause mild signs. Diagnosis Diagnosing paintball toxicity or damage is generally based on the owner's witnessing or suspecting ingestion and on physical exam findings. The signs are consistent with the physical injury includes a round type bruise that can be associated with paint on the pet. Ingestion of paint balls can cause a variety of symptoms depending on the type and amount eaten. Symptoms of ingestion may include:
Vomiting (you may see the paint balls or paint)
Difficulty walking/stumbling
Increased thirst and urination
Tachycardia (high heart rate)
Coma Signs may begin within one hour after ingestion. Dehydration may also occur if there has been significant vomiting and diarrhea. Ingestion can also cause changes in the bodies electrolytes. The most severe changes are a dangerously high sodium level, increase in pH, elevations in chloride levels and lowered potassium levels. Baily a 5 1/2 year old yellow lab ingested an unopened bag of 500 orange paint balls. A Brand which was considered non-toxic but contained high amounts of sodium, which causes neurologic symptoms. Baily had orange vomit and diarrhea. He presented with ataxia(trouble walking), glasses eyes, pale color.

Because Baily vomited up most of what he ate and received prompt supportive care at Cape Animal Referral & Emergency he spent one night at the hospital and made a full recovery.

We are happy to report Baily is doing great with no after affects!