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Acute kidney injury in three dogs after ingestion of a descaling agent containing maleic acid
  1. Ariane Schweighauser1,
  2. Thierry Francey1,
  3. Corinne Gurtner2,
  4. Hugo Kupferschmidt3 and
  5. Christine Rauber-Lüthy3
  1. 1Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  2. 2Department of Veterinary Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  3. 3Associated Institute of the University of Zurich, National Poisons Centre, Tox Info Suisse, Zürich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ariane Schweighauser, ariane.schweighauser{at}


Maleic acid (MA) is a common component of descaling products and is widely used in daily life. Accidental ingestion in relevant amounts does not play a major role in human beings; however, it seems to be highly toxic for dogs. It has been commonly used experimentally to induce Fanconi syndrome in dogs or small rodents. Two dogs were presented for acute kidney injury (AKI) after accidental ingestion of a descaling agent containing MA at an estimated amount of 70 mg/kg each. The third dog involved was euthanased by the referring veterinarian, and postmortem pathological analysis revealed severe acute tubular necrosis consistent with toxic nephropathy. The other dogs received symptomatic therapy for AKI including treatment with haemodialysis and showed complete normalisation of serum creatinine at a follow-up after five months. Renal damage can be very severe, but seems to be at least partially reversible and an attempt to treatment is warranted.

  • Nephrology
  • Toxicology
  • Dogs
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