Fatal propylene glycol toxicosis in a horse.

D. C. Dorman, W. M. Haschek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Toxicosis attributable to propylene glycol (1,2-propanediol) was suspected in an 8-year-old 450- to 500-kg male Quarter Horse. Clinical signs of toxicosis developed within 15 minutes of the accidental iatrogenic oral administration of 3.8 L of propylene glycol. Clinical signs of toxicosis included salivation, sweating, ataxia, and signs of pain. Additionally, at 24 hours after propylene glycol ingestion, the horse became increasingly atactic, had an abnormal breath odor, developed rapid shallow breathing, and was cyanotic. The horse died of apparent respiratory arrest 28 hours after the propylene glycol ingestion. Analysis of serum and combined urine and blood from the kidneys confirmed the presence of propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is used for the treatment and prevention of bovine ketosis, and is similar in appearance to mineral oil. The accidental administration of propylene glycol to horses may result in fatal poisoning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1643-1644
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Fatal propylene glycol toxicosis in a horse.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this