Catch-loving pup retrieves deadly chlorine tablet


How this dog was successfully treated plus other pet dangers to be mindful of this summer

It’s no surprise that Thunder, the dog of Amy Chaplin from Manhattan, Kansas, enjoys playing catch. Therefore, when Chaplin threw a large chlorine tablet into the family swimming pool, he did as he usually does, and caught the prize in mid-air.

Thunder in his element, en route to catch a frisbee (Photo courtesy of Pet Poison Helpline).

Thunder in his element, en route to catch a frisbee (Photo courtesy of Pet Poison Helpline).

Thunder then began running around the yard with the tablet in his mouth and when he was finally tracked down by his owner, around quarter of the tablet was gone. "I knew right away the chlorine was dangerous," Chaplin said, in a Pet Poison Helpline release.1 "I ran into the house and told my kids to get in the car because we needed to take Thunder to the pet hospital. Before we even left the house, he started vomiting." The closest emergency pet hospital Kansas State University (K-State) Veterinary Health Center is luckily just a few minutes away from Chaplin’s house.

When Chaplin arrived, there was no toxicologist working and she was directed to call Pet Poison Helpline. On the phone, she described what type of chlorine tablet was ingested, when the exposure occurred, and what amount Thunder was exposed to.1 "The veterinarian at K-State then collaborated with the Pet Poison Helpline veterinarian to determine the best treatment for Thunder," Chaplin added. "If I had treated Thunder on my own, I would have given him something to make him throw up more, and that would have been the worst thing I could do. It would have caused more damage. Talking with Pet Poison Helpline pretty much saved his life."

“Once at the K-State Veterinary Health Center, the veterinary team treated Thunder with an antiemetic to prevent vomiting any of the potentially corrosive product and administered subcutaneous fluids to help with hydration,” explained Renee Schmid, DVM, DABT, DABVT, a senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline.1 She added that he was prescribed gastrointestinal protectants including omeprazole and a sucralfate slurry to treat any possible ulcers that may have formed in the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.

"We really appreciate having access to Pet Poison Helpline because our toxicologists are not available after hours," stated Stefanie Durbin, DVM, MS, cVMA, in the release. "Students get to talk to and learn from seasoned clinical toxicologists, and one of the things I like best is our team can call back multiple times regarding the case." According to the release,1 Pet Poison Helpline charges a one-time fee.

Schmid advised of other dangers for pet owners to bear in mind this summer including sunscreen that can have toxic chemicals and fireworks as more pets go missing on the Fourth of July than any other time of the year.2

"You would think he would have learned his lesson, but after we brought him home from the hospital, he tried to do the same thing the next day," Chaplin concluded, in the release. "He's quite the character and we keep a very close eye on him now."1


  1. Playful pooch plays catch with potentially deadly chlorine tablet. News release. Pet Poison Helpline. June 14, 2023. Accessed June 14, 2023.
  2. Zachary J. How to prevent your pet from going missing this Fourth of July. American Kennel Club. June 7, 2022. Accessed June 14, 2023.
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