Is Your Dog Poisoned? Learn About Lead Poisoning

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Last Updated on January 10, 2021

How toxic is Lead for dogs: Both people and dogs can suffer from lead poisoning, a condition in which the levels of lead found in one’s blood increase. It can result from sudden exposure to this metal, resulting in acute lead poisoning, or a long-term exposure that will then result in chronic lead toxicity.

1. How does lead poisoning occur?

Lead toxicity is the result of damage caused by this substance to your dog’s body cells. By substituting itself for zinc and calcium, lead exposure can hurt your cell’s normal biological processes. Different ecological and geographical locations can influence the probability of being exposed to lead poisoning. However, this is more common during the Summertime. Living in an old building can also be the cause of lead poisoning. While lead poisoning is more common among young, healthy dogs, older dogs can also be affected, and cats too.

2. What are the common symptoms of lead poisoning?

Depending on the type of lead toxicity your dog might be experiencing, the symptoms may vary. Gastrointestinal symptoms usually follow low-level and chronic exposure. On the other hand, acute exposure, especially for young animals, might damage the central nervous system damage. Here are some common signs of lead poisoning: A lack of appetite Fatigue Abdominal discomfort Regurgitation Diarrhea Extreme anxiety Hysteria Vomiting Seizures Blindness Weakness

3. What can be the causes of lead poisoning?

Ingestion Dogs are curious creatures, and sometimes they might eat something they are not supposed to. Among the things that can cause lead poisoning in dogs, we can list car batteries, plumbing materials, lead foil, paint chips, golf balls, lubricating material, or any other materials and objects containing lead. The use of unproper water and food utensils When choosing a water and dog food container for your dog, be sure to avoid glazed ceramic, as it might expose them to lead. Water If your dog drinks lead-contaminated water, they might get sick.

4. How can your dog be diagnosed?

Take your dog to an emergency vet clinic and start by giving the vet all the details leading to the symptoms they are experiencing at the moment. Can you remember if they had any contact with materials or objects containing lead? What has been your dog’s medical history so far? These questions are very important to help the veterinarian achieve a proper diagnosis. To ensure a correct diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment, your dog might have to be subjected to some laboratory tests, such as a urinalysis, a blood count, and a biochemistry profile. If they suffer from lead toxicity, the blood tests might show different sized red blood cells, red blood cells with abnormal shapes, or even variation in coloring. Plus, the count of neutrophils, a type of white blood cells, might be higher than usual.

5. What is the treatment for lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning is an urgent matter, which is why you should take your dog to the emergency clinic as soon as you suspect they might be suffering from it. Chelation therapy is one of the alternatives when treating this issue. This detoxifying practice relies on the ingestion of chelating agents that will then bind the lead present in your dog’s digestive system, thus preventing any further absorption. The vet must determine the appropriate type of chelating agent. Your dog’s vet might also choose to engage in gastric lavage. This will cleanse the stomach contents, thus removing any lead that might have been ingested in the hours before the treatment. If the levels of lead found on your dog’s body are very high, you can always try to medicate them. Some drugs in the market can help lower the lead levels in your puppy’s body.

6. How to manage lead poisoning

If you address the lead poisoning early, the good news is that the prognosis is pretty positive, as your dog might recover within 48 hours after being treated. However, if your dog has experienced seizures due to lead poisoning, the treatment and recovery might take a little longer. Because lead exposure can affect other animals and humans, your dog’s vet is legally obligated to report the incident. They will then identify the source of lead to prevent any further exposure. If they cannot identify the source and eliminate the risk, lead poisoning might become a recurrent danger.

7. How can you prevent lead poisoning?

If you don’t know what the source is, there is not much you can do. However, you can lower the risk of lead exposure by removing any materials containing lead from your home. You should do the same with objects that are made of lead.

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