Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Fat and oil ingestion

Synonym(s): Palm oil, butter, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, lard, margarine, olive oil, fat balls (bird food, suet, rapeseed oil)

Contributor(s): Nicola Bates, David Walker

Introduction

  • Cause: ingestion of fat and oil.
  • Signs: gastrointestinal signs.
  • Diagnosis: history and clinical signs, including oily vomitus or diarrhea.
  • Treatment: symptomatic.
  • Prognosis: good.
  • Essential oils, eg tea tree oil (melaleuca oil) may have different clinical signs and are not covered here (Khanet al, 2014; Villaret al, 1994).

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Fats Fat and oils are composed of triglycerides.
  • Generally, oils are liquid at room temperature, and fats are solid; palm oil is semi-solid at room temperature and often yellow in color (due to the presence of carotene).
  • Readily available as food stuffs including butter, vegetable oil (eg sunflower oil, olive oil, corn oil), suet, lard and margarine.
  • Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil used in processed foods, toiletries (soaps, shampoos), as a biofuel and for cooking (in some countries).
  • Inhalation of heated fats or oils could result in exposure to acrolein, which is formed when fats and oils are heated to high temperatures Smoke inhalation. It is a strong irritant of mucous membranes and highly reactive.

Specific

Pathophysiology

  • Laxative effect.

Timecourse

  • Typically within a few hours of ingestion. Solid oils may cause signs of gastrointestinal tract obstruction without prodromal signs.

Epidemiology

  • A case cluster may be seen if palm oil is washed up on a beach.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Khan S A, McLean M K, Slater M R (2014) Concentrated tea tree oil toxicosis in dogs and cats: 443 cases (2002-2012). JAVMA 244 (1), 95-99 PubMed.
  • Villar D, Knight M J, Jansen S R, Buck W B (1994) Toxicity of melaleuca oil and related essential oils applied topically on dogs and cats. Vet Hum Toxicol 36 (2), 139-142 PubMed.

Organisation(s)


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