Pictured: Lead

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Common signs to watch for:

  • Inappetance
  • Anorexia
  • Drooling
  • Regurgitation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Walking drunk
  • Seizures
  • Acting Blind
  • Death

Lead poisoning is less commonly seen nowadays, thanks to government regulation on the use of lead-based paint in the home. However, certain common household items still contain lead, including old drapery weights, car batteries, lead shot, children’s toys, lead sinkers, solder, etc. When ingested, the acid within the gastrointestinal tract results in rapid absorption of the lead into the bloodstream. With poisoning, signs affecting the gastrointestinal tract (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, anorexia, etc.) and central nervous system (e.g., walking drunk, regurgitating, seizuring, acting blind, etc.) can occur. Treatment to bind the lead out of the body (e.g., succimer or calcium EDTA) may be necessary.

Currently, birds are the most common animal affected by lead poisoning. This may be due to being shot (with lead shot) or ingesting lead sinkers.

Help minimize exposure to pets and wildlife by keeping lead out of the environment!

Poison type: metals

Alternate names: paint, batteries, heavy metals, shot, fishing sinkers, sinkers, leaded glass, ceramic, pottery, plumbing, solder, linoleum, buckshot, bullets, EDTA