Pet Symptom Checker

Insecticide poisoning

Medical name: Carbamate toxicity

Emergency Warnings



  • Loss of appetite
  • Stressful breathing
  • Lack of energy
  • Diarrhea
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Hot body
  • Uncoordinated
  • Small muscle contractions
  • Muscle weakness
  • Excessive salivation
  • Seizure
  • Shaking body
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of interest


Carbamate toxicity in pets refers to a type of insecticide poisoning, which can be caused if your pet has eaten insecticide, or is simply having a reaction to his flea collar. This condition can often be characterized by labored, distressed breathing. Normally dogs breathe 10 to 30 times a minute, whereas the average cat takes 10 to 40 breaths. At rest, these should be silent, effortless breaths. The chest and abdomen rise and fall without signs of discomfort or distress (labored breathing is called dyspnea) and the animal is breathing through its nose. (One open-mouth-breathing exception is normal panting in dogs, which is their way of lowering body temperature. But cats don’t cool off by panting, which in that species can be a sign of cardiopulmonary distress.) Learn to recognize your pet’s normal breathing rate, because anything much over (or under, too) can be a sign of trouble. A moderate increase in respiratory rate could be an early sign of breathing problems — and merits a same-day call to the veterinarian. Excessive panting or gasping (especially when dogs stand with their elbows outward, or cats crouch with neck and head extended) are emergency signs of respiratory failure. Get help immediately! The same goes for cyanotic (blue) gums during labored, open-mouth breathing. Other signs of carbamate toxicity may include diarrhea, vomiting, or weakness. Your pet may also exhibit small muscle contractions, a shaking body, or a full seizure. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from carbamate toxicity, or you know that your pet has ingested insecticide, do not delay in seeking veterinary medical attention. The ASPCA Poison Control Center's toll-free hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (888) 426-4435.

Zootoo does not provide veterinary medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition.
If you think your pet may be experiencing a medical emergency, call your veterinarian or an emergency animal care facility immediately.

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