Abstract Cyanide toxicity can be reduced by the use of methemoglobin (MetHb) formers, and antidotal dosage is based on the extent of MetHb formation. Hemoglobin and ferrihemoglobin (MetHb, hemimethemoglobins α 3+β 2+and α 2+β 3+, tetracyanmethemoglobin, and dicyanmethemoglobin) concentrations in human, pig, and mouse blood were determined after separation by isoelectric focusing with an octyl-bonded capillary. The predominant species formed in blood when MetHb formers, such as potassium ferricyanide, hydroxylamine, sodium nitrite, and 4-dimethylaminophenol (DMAP), added at molar ratios ranging from 1:10 to 1:1 to hemoglobin, are the valency hybrid intermediates α 3+β 2+and α 2+β 3+. In the detoxication of cyanide with methemoglobin, an intermediate dicyanhemimethemoglobin was demonstrated to be the predominant species in the formation of tetracyanmethemoglobin. Complex mixtures of hemoglobin derivatives were observed with DMAP at 1:1 or greater molar ratio to hemoglobin. Comparison of the MetHb values obtained with a hemoxometer indicated that the valency hybrids were measured as MetHb and the values of oxidized hemoglobin were overestimated. In cyanide poisoning, incorrect dosages of MetHb formers could be calculated, and misinterpretation of MetHb data would result from methods that fail to discriminate among the various species of MetHb.