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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Poisoning, Metals View In Dogs

First Aid Condition

First aid health condition




Condition Overview

Lead - Lead is found in fishing weights and is a base for some artists paints. Other sources of lead include linoleum, drywall (sheetrock), batteries, plumbing materials, putty, lead foil, solder, golf balls, old paint chips, and tar paper.


Acute lead intoxication is characterized by vomiting and very painful abdomen. With chronic exposure, a variety of central nervous system signs can develop. They include seizures, un-coordinated gait, excitation, continuous barking, attacks of hysteria, weakness, stupor, and blindness. Chewing and champing fits may be mistaken for the encephalitis of distemper.


Lead poisoning occurs primarily in puppies and dogs who chew and swallow objects that contain lead. Toxicity usually requires repeated exposure.


Blood tests will be done to check for lead levels. Specific antidotes to bind and remove lead from the dog's system are available from your veterinarian.


Lead - If you suspect your dog has ingested lead, induce vomiting. To induce vomiting to prevent poison absorption - Induce vomiting by giving the dog hydrogen peroxide. A 3% solution is most effective. Give 1 teaspoon (5ml) per 10 pounds (4.5kg) of body weight. Repeat every 15 - 20 minutes, up to 3 times, until the dog vomits. Walking the dog after each dose may help stimulate vomiting. Seek veterinary attention.

Zinc - If you see your pet eat pennies, induce vomiting as described for lead poisoning. Many times, clinical signs do not show up for days, as the stomach acid dissolves the metal. Surgery to remove any pennies may be required and your dog may need hospitalization for fluids and to attempt therapy to remove the zinc from the body.


Keep any objects containing lead away from children and pets. Do not leave loose change in places that can be accessed by children or pets.


Contact your veterinarian for detailed instructions or call on of the poison hotlines listed below:

  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 (fee)
  • Angell Animal Poison Control Hotline 1-877-226-4355
  • Animal Poison Hotline operated by the North Shore Animal League and PROSAR International Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-232-8870

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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