Dog Wellness – Lead Poisoning in Dogs

Dog wellness advice on the chat today is with regards to lead poisoning in dogs. Lead toxicity or lead poisoning is medically known as Plumbism, and refers to poisoning due to ingestion or inhalation of products containing lead. When lead based paint is on the walls its fine, but when it is disturbed, causing dust and chips of paint to fall to the ground, this is where the problem starts. Dogs especially will ingest pieces of paint – particularly puppies. The dust from the moving and scraping of the paint settles in the pet’s fur and between his toes as well as is inhaled through his nose. This is one of the more common causes of lead poisoning in dogs, when a home is renovated or newly painted.

Paint produced prior to 1977 contained high levels of lead and some companies today are still using this paint on children and pet products. Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission checks the safety of all toys for humans and enforces a federal standard for lead in paint for children’s toys, there is not an organization that regularly tests animal toys nor is there a standard for lead in pet toys. So pet owners need to be vigilant in ensuring their pets are out of harms way when renovating their home. However it isn’t just paint that can cause lead poisoning in dogs or other pets.

Lead poisoning or lead toxicity can come from the following;

1. Paint, or the disturbance of paint

2. Lead weights

3. Lead pellets

4. Household items such as drapery weights, linoleum, rug padding, and foil from the tops of wine bottles

5. Automotive parts such as batteries, wheel weights, leaded gasoline and discarded oil from cars using leaded gasoline

6. Construction materials such as solder, putty and caulking

7. Plumbing and roofing materials

Puppies are more likely to ingest materials containing lead because of their chewing, playful nature and their need to get into just about everything.

Dogs are more likely than cats to eat lead containing objects and younger animals absorb larger amounts of lead than older animals. In pregnant animals the babies are affected because lead crosses the placenta and is excreted in the mother’s milk, causing the fetus to be effected.

Lead poisoning in dogs can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea. It can cause anemia and seizures, and suppress the immune system. Basically if your dog or pet has lead poisoning he is very sick and definitely requires immediate urgent medical attention.

Signs and Symptoms

* Loss of appetite
* Abdominal pain
* Vomiting
* Diarrhea
* Anxiety
* Aggressive behavior
* Muscle tremors
* In coordination
* Weakness
* Seizures
* Blindness
* Deafness
* Behavior changes
* Mental “dullness” (not alert)
* Increased thirst and urinations
* Shortness of breath
* Intolerance for exercise

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your pet, contact your vet immediately.

In order for the vet to properly diagnose your dog he may perform a series of exams such as diagnostic tests, which would include a complete blood count, Serum biochemistry tests to check the liver and kidney function and assess the extent of systemic injury from the lead. Another test would be a blood lead concentration test to determine the amount of lead concentration in your dog’s body. Pumping of the stomach and enemas are performed to remove any remaining lead. Surgery may be needed for removal of any object in the stomach. Fluids are administered intravenously to correct dehydration and facilitate urinary excretion of lead. Diazepam Phenobarbital or Pentobarbital are administered to control seizures.

So as you can see, if your dog, God forbid were to get lead poisoning, you are talking about a very involved, sad, uncomfortable, stressful, and costly vet visit. Not to mention the recovery time and medications your dog might be on for a while, as well as frequent follow up visits.

Home Care

Pet natural health care is extremely common and used by pet owners around the world with very successful results, particularly when it comes to common pet illnesses. However in this case there is no natural or home care for lead poisoning in dogs. Seek veterinary care promptly if you suspect your dog has ingested lead-containing materials or shows any of the above signs.

Once you take your pet home from the vet it is vital that you administer medications exactly as directed by your vet and monitor your pet daily. Note down any symptoms that become worse or any new symptoms you notice. Immediately discuss these changes with your vet.

Prevention

Dog wellness means dog owner awareness and a huge part of preventing lead poisoning in dogs is awareness. Being aware of items or chemicals around your home and yard that contain lead and making sure they are out of your dogs reach – keeping in mind any special skills your dog may have either in his breed or owner taught. If you can remove all sources of lead from your home and garden this would be the best way of prevention. Keep your dog away from any renovation that might be going on in your home, and away from discarded materials. Keep your dog away from your garage if you know you are storing lead containing materials. It is also important to make sure dog toys and bowls are lead free. Never underestimate your dog. Assuming your dog won’t get into things because he is behaved, out of the puppy stages, or simply isn’t bothered could cost you to have a very sick dog. Don’t take any chances and keep any toxic materials well away from your dogs reach – at all times.

Pet Trivia: An African wolf dog known as the Basenji is the only dog in the world that cannot bark.

Pet Mobility – How To Help Your Handicapped Pet Move

Pet mobility is a key component in helping a handicapped dog to lead a more normal life. Owners of handicapped pets should be patient and provide plenty of encouragement to their canine so he learns how to use dog wheels or dog carts.

Pet Mobility becomes a key concern of owners of handicapped pets. It is difficult for a pet owner to see his pet suffering from an illness or injury that makes the dog immobile. Added to this is the indignity that the dog may feel at being helped to move or do his business. This could lead to further complications such as depression and in some cases deterioration of health due to lack of exercise. This is why dog wheels or dog carts are a great help to owners of handicapped pets that suffer loss of movement of one or more limbs due to injuries or medical conditions such as hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy and arthritis.

Dog wheels and canine carts help in pet mobility as they support the weakened limbs of the dog and keep him in his natural position. This way, he can sit, stand or walk the way he used to earlier. The cart is designed in such a way that it bears the load on the dog’s injured side so that the dog can use the remaining limbs to move about freely without putting any stress on the weakened limb.

However, achieving pet mobility is a long process that requires patience, effort and encouragement. Most dogs may initially find it difficult to use this cart. As a pet owner, you must support and encourage your pet to keep trying so that he learns how to use it. Once he learns, he will be able to move about freely and go about his usual activities such as going for his daily walks or runs and socializing with other canines. This in turn will result in him regaining confidence and help him lead a more normal life that is independent of your continuous assistance. It will also help him get his daily exercise which is critical to his recovery and long term health.

Ensuring that pet mobility is regained helps pet owners too. After all, which owner would not want to see his dear pet lead a normal life and more importantly not have to face the prospect of having to put their pet down. It is due to this reason that dog carts have become popular. These pet mobility devices are now available at most pet shops and veterinary clinics. They are also available for order from websites offering pet supplies where you can choose the size of your pet to find out which size of dog cart to order.

Sexy New Pink Pet Tags For Small Dogs Or Cats – Safety Danglers

THIS ALSO APPLIES TO CATS!!

The number of dogs that are being killed on UK roads is increasing each year as a result of car accidents. Dog owners could be responsible for costs and even liable to criminal charges. If that’s not adding to the stress of the incident, you as the owner of the dog could also be liable for all rectification costs and possibly be prosecuted under the Road Traffic Act.

The Road Traffic Act classes a dog as an animal that is not free to roam, unlike sheep and cattle. Therefore, the dog owner will be responsible for the dog’s actions on the public highway. If it can be proved in court that the accident was due to the dog being on the road, the dog owner will be liable for the costs which can sometimes be thousands of pounds.

This is what happened to June Lillis, when her dog Sebastian, was hit and killed by a car. She suffered the agony of losing her dog and the stress of the financial burden of paying for the damage to the driver’s car. She explained:

“At first the driver was only concerned for Sebastian, and he helped my eldest son take him into our house. But a couple of weeks after the accident, we received a letter from his insurers advising us that we were at fault for the accident, and therefore the damage to the car. Luckily, the damage only cost £70 to repair, but we were shocked to learn we were responsible. The crash happened at night, and the driver said he never saw the dog, but we chalked it up to a tragic accident. When my husband rang the man’s insurers, they advised him that we would have to go to court to prove we were not at fault.”

Campaigners for road safety are advising cyclists and pedestrians to wear clothing that is highly visible, especially at night and during winter. Dogs are often walked off their leads or they escape from their owners properties. They can seem to appear from nowhere and often when it is too late to take avoiding action.

Gloweasy supply Pet Reflective Danglers to help prevent these avoidable accidents.

All of our Reflective Danglers are made from a high visibility reflective prismatic PVC.

The Gloweasy Dangler’s are made by sandwiching a foam centre with flexible reflective materials both sides, this produces a product that is soft, pliable and very tactile. The type of attachment varies, but they are extremely effective hanging from your Dog’s collar for safety.

The disc is 2 inches (50mm) in diameter and has a high visibility paw design on both sides. Also reflective on both sides with a strong dog clip connector. When in place they hang approx 90mm (3.5″) and they clip quickly to virtually any collar or lead and are just as easily removed when the pet is indoors. Being double sided, their highly reflective surfaces can be illuminated from many directions. They are even more effective when worn in a cluster of two or more.

Other applications see them working very well as luggage tags or bag tags, so attached to a child’s school bag will also safeguard them at night.