VPIS - Veterinary Poisons Information Service

Phosphorous toxicity

A 4 month old Yorkshire terrier vomited the day after ingestion of Slider fireworks. He vomited the next day and was weak with diarrhoea. On presentation blood tests showed he had hypoglycaemia. He was given IV fluids but remained recumbent. An X-ray showed ascites. The dog deteriorated and died during exploratory abdominal surgery.

Post-mortem examination showed a yellowish tan, friable liver, mild hepatomegaly and haemorrhagic gastric mucosa. Histopathology showed severe acute diffuse hepatocyte degeneration and necrosis. The fireworks contained phosphorous 4.6%, potassium 6.2% and magnesium 1.9%. The signs in this case were consistent with phosphorous toxicity (Schrunk et al., 2014).