MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: How long is cyanide detectable in body tissues after death?

Date: Thu Apr 27 09:47:29 2000
Posted By: Kelly Dennison, Staff, Environmental Science/Industrial Hygiene, Earth Tech
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 954948577.Gb

Sorry about the loss of your pet.

Although my experience is with the inhalation of cyanide, I would think 
that if your dog ingested cyanide and it died suddenly, it was an acute 
poisoning of cyanide (which can be found in pest control media like rat 
poison).  If it was acute and dog was probably exibiting convulsions, 
frothing at the mouth, and respiratory problems.  If this was the case, a 
simple blood test can confirm the presence of cyanide.

If it was chronic cyanide poisoning (a little cyanide ingested over a long 
period of time), hair and nail samples can be taken to prove cyanide 

Most likely, it was an acute ingestion - but I would also check with your 
vet and examine the lab tests that were run (if any).  One sign of 
ethylene glycol poisoning (anti-freeze) is kidney failure and that may be 
another way your pet was poisoned.

Good Luck,
Kelly Dennison
Industrial Hygienist

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