Lead Exposure in Dog
How to Protect Pets from Lead Poisoning
Lead poisoning is not as common in pets as it used to be, but it can still happen. Contaminated water, old lead-based paint, or renovation projects increase the chances of your pet getting lead poisoning. To protect your pet, remove any lead-containing objects from where they can get them, keep them away from renovations, replace your paint with a lead-free kind, and take action if the water in your area is contaminated.
Keeping Your Pets Safe
Keep objects that increase lead poisoning away from pets.Many different objects can cause lead poisoning if the pet chews or swallows them. Become aware of what objects are dangers and try to keep these objects off the floor or low surfaces. Objects that cause lead poisoning include:
- Lead weights, like fishing sinker or curtain weights
- Golf balls
- Ceramic glazes on pottery or porcelain
- Putty or caulk
- Electronic equipment
- Wine cork covers prior to 1996
- Cheap jewelry
- Foil made with lead
- Door grease
Provide your pets with bottled water.If your area has contaminated water, you should give your pets bottled water until the issue is resolved. Drinking water is one of the most common ways that pets end up with lead poisoning.
- Keep up with your local news to hear of any problems with lead contamination in your area.
Get your pets tested.If you suspect lead poisoning, get your pets tested. You may want to get your pets tested if your children have been diagnosed with lead poisoning because there is sometimes a correlation between children and pets being poisoned.
- Take your pet to the vet if you have any concerns. A negative test is better than chancing your pet’s health.
Removing Risks From Lead-Based Remodeling Materials
Replace paint with a lead-free variety.Paint is another common way that pets can get lead poisoning. If your house has lead-based paint, your pet can get lead poisoning through licking or eating paint. The pet may also chew on woodwork or parts of the house that contain lead from old paint.
- You should fix any peeling paint so your pet cannot eat it. Repaint your house if your paint is old and could possible contain lead.
Keep an eye on your pets when remodeling your house.Lead poisoning is pretty rare in pets, but remodeling your house can increase the chances significantly. This is due to any old paint or lead in the walls or floors. For example, if you sand a wall with lead-based paint, then you can release toxic lead particles into the air.Plumbing and other building materials, such as caulk and putty, can also cause lead poisoning.
- When you remodel your house, watch your pets at all times when they are in the rooms you are remodeling to make sure they are not ingesting anything. If possible, keep them out of the parts of the house you are remodeling.
- Make sure to sweep up any lead dust or wash it away with soap and water.
- Pets can get lead particles of lead paint on their paws and lick it off, which could lead to poisoning.
Protect pets from bare soil areas near main roads.Lead, a toxic substance, is released from vehicle emissions and can settle onto bare soil patches nearby. Watch your dog carefully in parks near highways and big roads to make sure it isn't playing in the soil too much.
- Lead can get also into the soil from building projects, renovations, exterior paint deterioration, or gasoline leaks from old vehicles when lead was still in gasoline.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Look for digestive problems.A common symptom of lead poisoning is problems with digestion and the digestive tract. Your pet may experience a stomach ache, constipation followed by diarrhea, or vomiting. Your pet may also show a decreased appetite or an increased thirst.
- The pet may also have an increased need to urinate.
Check for neurological symptoms.When the lead poisoning gets more serious, the pet can exhibit neurological symptoms. These may include muscle spasms or tremors, lack of coordination, and even seizures. The dog may also appear weak or walk around in circles or with an unsteady gait.
- The pet may also experience deafness or blindness.
- Your pet may also start chomping their jaws.
Notice any changes in behavior.Lead poisoning may also cause your pet to act differently than normal. The pet may act lethargic or depressed. The pet may start to be anxious or suddenly become aggressive.
- Your pet may become weak and uninterested in things they used to. They may also experience shortness of breath.
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