Zinc is a naturally occurring mineral that is essential for the overall health and wellbeing of both humans and animals. While it is an important nutrient for dogs, excessive amounts of zinc can be toxic and potentially harmful to their system. Similar to other heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, zinc toxicity in dogs can cause a wide range of symptoms. As responsible pet owners, it is crucial to be aware of potential sources of zinc and know the signs and symptoms of zinc toxicity.
Dangers of Zinc Toxicity
Dogs can experience poisoning if they ingest an item or substance that contains a large amount of zinc, such as coins, hardware, or certain creams. Some coins have small amounts of zinc and can be passed safely through the stool, while others contain larger amounts that can cause toxicity. When zinc breaks down in the stomach, it can lead to stomach issues and be absorbed into the bloodstream. This can result in the destruction of red blood cells, kidney and heart failure, and liver damage. To prevent this, dog owners should ensure that potential sources of zinc are kept out of their dog’s reach. If you suspect that your dog consumed an item containing zinc, you must seek veterinary help right away.
Zinc Poisoning Symptoms
If your dog ingested an item or substance containing elevated levels of zinc, they can experience severe symptoms of poisoning. Common signs to watch out for include:
- Pale gums
- Increased breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Discolored urine
- Lack of appetite
Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 if you suspect that your pup consumed an excessive amount of zinc. It’s imperative to seek treatment immediately, as the symptoms associated with zinc poisoning can cause severe damage to your dog. Transport your dog to the nearest veterinary clinic for emergency treatment. Your veterinarian will perform an x-ray to locate the zinc containing item. Removal of the item is necessary before damage to the red blood cells can occur, which can lead to severe anemia. If emergency medical help is not sought out in a timely manner, zinc poisoning can be fatal.