Lead poisoning in dogs

Why is my dog lead poisoned

Lead poisoning is a poisoning reaction caused by ingestion or inhalation of heavy metal lead. The principle of lead poisoning is that lead replaces the calcium and zinc necessary for the human body. Lead intake by pregnant women can also affect the fetus and the puppies during lactation. Common sources of lead include paint chips, paint dust, utensils, fishing weights, lead bullets, and lead-contaminated water.

Lead poisoning is life-threatening and requires immediate care. Since the U.S. government promulgated regulations to remove lead from house paint in 1978, and companies related to lead waste have strengthened the review of heavy metal emissions. The situation of lead poisoning is decreasing. However, dogs can still be exposed to lead through aging household materials, untreated industrial waste, and construction waste.

Some common items on homes or construction sites may contain lead.

Paint chips or paint dust
Building materials
Welding materials
Old curtains
ceramic tile
Wine bottle foil
Lead fishing weight
Lead Gun Pill
Lead lubricant
Lead pipe
Lead contaminated water
Car battery
Leaded gasoline

Symptoms of lead poisoning

Decreased appetite
stomach ache
Increased urination
Muscle tremor

Diagnosis of lead poisoning in dogs

Warning: There is no home remedy for lead poisoning.

If you suspect that your pet is exhibiting symptoms of lead poisoning or know that you have been caught in a lead-containing substance, seek veterinary care immediately.

A complete physical examination will help determine the degree of poisoning and useful diagnostic methods.

Checking the blood count and white blood cell count is the first thing you need to do. If the results indicate a decrease in red blood cells and an increase in white blood cells, then this is in line with the performance of lead poisoning. The blood morphology will look for abnormal shapes, sizes and colors of red blood cells under the microscope. The blood biochemistry will detect any elevated liver enzymes, determine kidney function and identify other systemic problems.

X-rays of the chest and abdomen can visualize lead objects in the stomach or intestines. Enlarged esophagus usually occurs with lead poisoning and can be seen by X-rays.

The identification and quantification of lead in the blood is a definite diagnosis. Lead poisoning can be diagnosed if the lead concentration is greater than 0.5ppm

Dog lead poisoning treatment

  • Lead source removal

Stomach lavage can remove the contents of the stomach, and is especially useful if used within 1-2 hours after lead intake. Use water to clean and flush the stomach several times. If you think the lower gastrointestinal tract is affected, you can also use an enema. Surgery may be required to remove larger lead objects from the body.

  • Chelation therapy

Chelation refers to the binding of one substance to another. Various chelating agents bind lead particles. Once lead is bound, it can no longer act as a toxin, but is excreted through the kidneys.

Common chelating agents include thiamine, penicillamine and Ca-EDTA.

  • Medication

The success of lead poisoning treatment largely depends on the amount of exposure and how long after exposure the pet receives treatment. Low-exposure pets usually heal within 12-24 hours.

If treated immediately after exposure, most pets will recover within 1-2 days. Pets with more severe symptoms may have permanent nerve damage. Pets who have been exposed to lead sources for a long time may store lead reservoirs in their bones, which cannot be processed by chelating agents. These conditions may require continuous treatment.

If your pet is diagnosed with lead poisoning, please remove all suspicious lead sources from your home immediately. If you have children, it is also best to check them for lead exposure.

You should report the lead poisoning incident to a government agency because lead poisoning is listed as a public health hazard.

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