Merck Manual

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Corn Cellulose Poisoning in Animals


Holly Hommerding

, DVM, DABT, Pet Poison Helpline & SafetyCall International, LLC, Bloomington, MN

Last full review/revision Mar 2022 | Content last modified Mar 2022

Corn cellulose–based rodenticides are relatively common and pose little systemic toxicity risk to veterinary patients. Made from powdered maize or corncobs, these products lead to dehydration, hypovolemic shock, and death when ingested by target species. Although some products do contain small amounts of sodium chloride, concentrations are low, averaging 2%, or 20 mg/g. The typical 1-ounce (28-g) block would thus contain 560 mg (0.56 g) of sodium chloride and would be subtoxic (<2 g/kg) for nearly all veterinary patients. Gastroenteritis may be an expected outcome, and care would be supportive.

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