Veterinary Drug Handbook (VDH) is the reference veterinarians turn to when they want an independent source of information on the drugs that are used in veterinary medicine today.


Dogs & Cats:

For arsenic toxicity:
a) Intensive supportive care is required. Give dimercaprol as early as possible after exposure at 2.5 - 5 mg/kg IM. The 5 mg/kg dose should only be used for acute cases and only for the first day of therapy. Repeat doses at 4 hour intervals for the first 2 days;every 8 hours on the third day, and twice daily for the next 10 days until recovery. Give with sodium thiosulfate: 40 - 50 mg/kg IV as a 20% solution bid-tid until recovery. (Neiger 1989)
b) Cats: If ingestion was recent, use emetics or gastric lavage to help prevent arsenic absorption. If clinical signs are present and ingestion was within 36 hours, begin dimercaprol therapy at 2.5 - 5 mg/kg IM q4h for the first 2 days, the q12h until recovery.
Fluid therapy should be instituted to prevent dehydration and maintain renal function.(Reid and Oehme 1989)
c) 4 mg/kg IM q4-6h; do not give for more than 4 continuous days. (Grauer and Hjelle1988c)
d) Loading dose of 5 mg/kg IM (acute cases only) followed by 2.5 mg/kg IM q3-4h fortwo days, then progressively lengthen the dosing interval to q12h until recovery isevident. (Mount 1989)
Food Animals:
For arsenic toxicity:
a) 3 mg/kg IM q4h for first 2 days, then q6h on the third day, then bid for 10 days untilrecovery. (Hatch 1988a)
b) 4 - 5 mg/kg initially, then 2 - 3 mg/kg IM q4-6h for the first day and 1 mg/kg for atleast 2 more days. May be beneficial in animals poisoned with inorganic arseniccompounds, but not organic arsenicals. (Furr and Buck 1986)
For mercury toxicity:
a) For bovine or swine: 3 mg/kg IM four times daily for 3 days, then twice daily for 10days. Treatment is often unsuccessful. (Osweiler and Hook 1986)


For arsenic toxicity:
a) Dimercaprol therapy in horses is difficult because it must be used acutely and anysubstantial delays in treatment significantly decrease its effectiveness, as well as theamounts of dimercaprol that are required and the necessity to inject the drug IM. Ifavailable, the dose is: 5 mg/kg IM initially, followed by 3 mg/kg IM q6h for the remainder of the first day, then 1 mg/kg IM q6h for two or more additional days, as needed. (Oehme 1987a) (Note: Refer to this reference for additional information on the use of sodium thiosulfate and protective laxative therapy.)
Monitoring Parameters -
  • 1) Liver function
  • 2) Renal function
  • 3) Hemogram
  • 4) Hydration and perfusion status
  • 5) Electrolytes and acid/base status
  • 6) Urinary pH
    Client Information - Because of the potential toxicity of this agent and the seriousness of mostheavy metal intoxications, this drug should be used with close professional supervision only.
    Dimercaprol can impart a strong, unpleasant mercaptan-like odor to the animal's breath.
    Dosage Forms/Preparations/FDA Approval Status/Withholding Times - Veterinary-Approved Products: None

    Human-Approved Products:

    Dimercaprol Injection 100 mg/ml (for IM use only) in 3 ml amps; BAL in Oil® (Becton Dickinson); (Rx)
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