Oral thermal injury associated with puncture of a salbutamol metered-dose inhaler in a dog


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Address correspondence and reprint requests to

Dr. Mackenzie, Ontario Veterinary College, 50 Stone Road, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada.

Email: smacken@uoguelph.ca



To describe the clinical features, diagnostic work-up, treatment, and outcome of a dog with oral thermal injury secondary to chewing on a salbutamol metered-dose inhaler (MDI).

Case Summary

A Boxer dog was presented after chewing on a salbutamol MDI. The dog was anxious, tachycardic and had moderate hypokalemia. The dog was treated with potassium supplementation and discharged after 24-hour hospitalization. Five hours after the discharge, the dog represented for dysphagia, anorexia, cervical pain, and a left-sided head tilt. Oral examination revealed edematous and erythematous swelling of the soft palate causing airway compromise; histopathology demonstrated vascular necrosis and infarction. The dog was treated with supportive care including the placement of a tracheostomy tube. The dog recovered fully and was discharged 8 days after initial presentation.

New or Unique Information Provided

Salbutamol toxicity has been documented previously in dogs but oral thermal injury associated with a salbutamol MDI has not been reported in dogs. Although a rare complication, dogs who have been exposed to MDIs should have a thorough oral exam and be monitored closely for signs of respiratory compromise.