My Dog Ate a Penny: Zinc Toxicity and Poisoning in Dogs

Our little pawl, competently named Penny, ate 6 pennies and about died. I ‘m writing this as a warn to darling owners .The Danger in Pennies: How to Recognize Zinc Toxicity in Pets & Children The Danger in Pennies : How to Recognize Zinc Toxicity in Pets & Children writer ‘s own exercise

Are Pennies Poisonous to Dogs?

Yes, they are. If a cad swallows pennies, it can make them sick … possibly tied fatally ill. Zinc toxicity is a chilling matter. Newer pennies are largely made of zinc ; consume as few as one to three pennies can cause problems. Our little dog, competently appoint Penny, corrode six pennies and about died. I ‘m writing this article as a warn to pet owners, and even parents, so they can identify the signs and symptoms of zinc toxicity and penny poison before it ‘s besides late .

Symptoms of Zinc Toxicity

Zinc toxicity can manifest as “ acute zinc perniciousness ” or “ chronic zinc perniciousness. ” Acute zinc perniciousness is caused by the sudden exposure or consumption of a toxic total of zinc or zinc-containing materials. Chronic zinc toxicity is caused by excessive vulnerability to zinc over time. It can be caused by regular over-consumption of zinc vitamins/lozenges, or chronic exposure to zinc fumes/particles ( welders can be afflicted ) .

Symptoms of Acute Zinc Toxicity in Dogs

  • Stomach pain, headaches, lethargy
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea
  • Urine retention
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Pale gums and/or tongue
  • Orange-colored feces
  • Dark, brown, or red-colored urine

Symptoms of chronic zinc toxicity may besides include fever, articulation pain, chronic cough, broken blood press, seizures, or metallic taste in the mouthpiece. Some welders or those that spend a distribute of fourth dimension in a like industrial context may experience “ zinc shakes, ” which are caused by chronic inhalant of zinc particles/fumes. Without taking your pawl or big cat to the vet, the only way you can know for certain they have zinc toxicosis is if you catch them in the act. Be mindful of your pet ‘s habits and the signs of zinc toxicity as it might save their life .

Common Items Made of Zinc

  • Pennies (US pennies minted 1982-present, Canadian pennies minted 1997-2001)
  • Other coins (certain UK £1, £2 coins)
  • Nuts, bolts, nails, and staples
  • Jewelry, zippers
  • Other galvanized metals (steel coated in zinc oxide)
  • Items made of brass (an alloy of zinc and copper)
  • Cold lozenges, zinc vitamin supplements
  • Board game pieces (ex: old Monopoly pieces)
  • Die cast toys (ex: Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars)
  • Electrical fuses, certain batteries and car parts
  • Certain ointments, creams, lotions, suppositories, and shampoos (some denture creams, diaper rash creams, sunscreens, calamine lotion)
  • Certain paints, fertilizers, fungicides, antiseptics

Treatment of Zinc Toxicity in Dogs

If you suspect your pawl or cat ( or child ! ) has consumed a penny or alike zinc-containing detail, get them to the hospital ASAP. The preferably they receive treatment—and the quick the zinc is removed from their system—the better the prognosis. If zinc remains in the body for long enough, it can cause hemolysis ( or breaking down of red blood cells ) which can result in anemia. This stage manifests vitamin a rake in urine ( which can look brown to bolshevik ), yellowing of the eyes, and/or pale gums. Later stages of zinc perniciousness may result in capture and distinguish depression. If left untreated, zinc perniciousness can be fatal as a result of multiple organ failure. In general, for diagnosis, you can expect the following:

  1. An overall physical examination, including questions about your dog’s history of foreign object ingestion or past incidence of vomiting up coins or similar items. Younger animals tend to express this behavior more than older ones.
  2. Your pet may require an X-ray to confirm the presence of a metallic object.
  3. A vet may perform a blood test, urinalysis, and/or liver and kidney panels.

Treatment of Zinc Toxicity will depend on the extent of the condition:

  1. If the coins or zinc-containing object are still present in the stomach, your vet may induce vomiting.
  2. Coins that have been in the stomach for a longer period of time may adhere to the stomach lining and require either an endoscopic procedure or surgery to remove them.
  3. To help flush the zinc out of the system, your vet may hook your dog up to an IV.
  4. To combat anemia, your pet may be placed in an oxygen chamber or—in extreme cases—be given a blood transfusion.
  5. During their stay at the hospital, your pet’s blood and urine may be monitored.
  6. Your dog may be on medication during their stay and once you take them home.

Every animal is different, but in general, once the zinc aim is removed acute symptoms will resolve within 2–3 days. Fatality will continue to be a hypothesis ampere farseeing as lineage or urine levels remain abnormal .

Our Dog Loves Coins

Penny, a Beagle/Cattle Dog mix, has been obsessed with metallic for a long as we ‘ve had her. She will gnaw on zippers and lick our alloy coffee bean table, cabinet knob, jewelry, and coins. She loves coins. This particular habit has been, at best, our cad ‘s funny story quirk ( for example, licking women ‘s jewelry while they ‘re wearing it ), and at worst, a nuisance ( e.g., demolish zippers on jackets ). We had looked into potential nutritional reasons for her behavior, but we have her on premium food and she has no dietary deficiencies as she ‘s had her rake checked before. additionally, her littermate in a different family has the exact lapp obsession. Dog genes, I ‘m looking at you ! Penny has discovered and promptly eat coins on about three offprint occasions ; every time she has thrown up the transfer like some kind of gross slot machine. We constantly thought the biggest danger with her mint obsession was the risk of it getting stuck in her intestines. While we suspected coins could be dangerous if caught in the digestive nerve pathway, we had no estimate that pennies can cause dangerous damage to the body before they even get to the intestines .

Our Dog Ate a Penny

The holocene incident occurred over the holidays, on the nox after we had returned from a weeklong trip. My husband caught Penny eating a nickel she had found on the floor and pulled it from her mouth before she could swallow it. She then had a adult bowl of food before going to bed. The future dawn, she was lethargic but calm walking about. We assumed that she was in a funk because the family she had stayed with had another pawl in the theater and she probably missed her ; she has acted like this earlier. She then threw up about a dollar in variety and, based on our past experiences, we assumed she ‘d begin feeling better.

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The following dawn, she had not improved and was not drinking water or eat. I lost it when she went external to go to the bathroom and her urine was the color of blood. We scooped her up and rushed her to animal pressing concern. The vet we saw ( Dr. Shenandoah Diehl, the undimmed touch in this unharmed experience ) told us that it was the pennies that she had eaten that had made her ghastly. Penny ‘s stomach acid had partially digested the coins and—because pennies minted in or after 1982 are more than 95 % zinc with a thin bull coating—her stomach ate through the copper allowing the to zinc leach out at toxic levels. Because the coins had stayed in her body for more than 12 hours and she had not thrown them up quickly ( like she had before ), she had acute zinc poisoning .These are the six pennies our dog ate. You can see where the metal has disintegrated. Smaller dogs and children are at higher risk for zinc toxicity (Penny is 20 lbs). These are the six pennies our andiron ate. You can see where the metal has disintegrated. Smaller dogs and children are at higher risk for zinc toxicity ( Penny is 20 pound ) .

Coin Ingestion in Children
little children, toddlers, and babies are at particular hazard for penny poison and zinc perniciousness. Coins are the most normally absorb foreign object among young children aged 6 months to 3 years. If you suspect your child has eaten coins and observe flu-like symptoms, or if your child is experiencing stomach pain, take them to the hospital for immediate care .

Lessons Learned

overall, Penny was in the hospital for about 48 hours. She had already thrown up the coins, so the treatment she received was to take care of the zinc that remained in her blood and fluids. She was placed on an IV while her rake was monitored, and when she became anemic, she was placed in an oxygen chamber ( which basically looks like an incubator for newborns ). finally, she needed a blood transfusion. Heck, I ‘ve never even had a blood transfusion. It was all quite chilling. When your positron emission tomography is very sick, the entirely thing you want to know is if they will be okay ; the uncertainty was one of the most difficult things to deal with. We were told not to assume Penny was “ out of the woods ” until her blood levels returned to normal. fortunately, we ended up bringing her home on New Year ‘s Eve. Penny took about a week or two to return to her normal appetite and department of energy level. For the first few days, she would eat nothing but rotisserie chicken ( she was hand prey, like the spoiled animal she is ). We then worked in obviously boiled chicken, rice and potato. She was eating her normal food ( more voraciously than before, I might add ) after a week. We realize that we were identical lucky. We had constantly taken care to keep coins and other metallic element objects out of her scope, but we never knew how significant it was to be argus-eyed at all times. We limit her access to certain rooms in the sign of the zodiac and we tell all visitors about her metallic element fetish so they know to pick up spend coins immediately. In hopes of curbing her substance abuse, we now stop her from licking any kind of metallic object. We know that we may not be able to prevent another incident like this from occurring, but at least we know what to do should it happen again .

Penny’s Story on YouTube

Sources and Additional Information

This article is accurate and true to the best of the generator ’ second cognition. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, discussion, prescription, or dinner dress and personalize advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. Lady Wolfs on February 02, 2013 : Nice hub. identical significant information for pet owners. I know there are many things an animal could ingest that are dangerous, but did n’t know about the zinc toxicity. Glad to hear your frump is doing well. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and utilitarian ! Bob Bamberg on February 01, 2013 :

identical well done, shaymarie. This is an significant hub because darling owners are n’t deoxyadenosine monophosphate dispose to know about zinc perniciousness as they are chocolate, grapes, raisins, etc. ; and many dogs are inclined to ingest coins. You ‘ve done pawl owners a valuable service. Voted up, utilitarian and matter to. Adrienne Farricelli on January 31, 2013 : Awww, poor Penny ! I ‘m happy she pulled through well. I ‘m certain your hub will be helpful for other owners and will raise awareness on the issue. Voted up and utilitarian !

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