Toxicology for pets Zinc toxicity can cause red blood cell destruction, liver damage, renal failure, and heart failure. Weakness, pale gums (anemia), vomiting, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, stained urine, jaundiced gums, loss of appetite, and collapse are all symptoms of zinc overdose. Treating dogs with zinc sulfate requires a careful balance between saving enough cells to fight off infection and not enough cells to deal with the toxicity of the drug.
Zinc is an essential nutrient that plays a role in over 300 biological processes. It is involved in DNA synthesis, protein production, immune function, skin integrity, muscle contraction, sensory perception, bone growth, and control of inflammation. Zinc is needed for healthy skin, ears, nose, mouth, lungs, stomach, intestines, urinary tract, reproductive system, muscles, bones, and blood. The body stores zinc in the liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, muscles, and brain.
Excessive amounts of zinc can be toxic to dogs. Dogs can develop zinc deficiency due to eating less than optimal quality food, or by consuming too much time. Toxic levels of zinc occur when dogs consume more than 20 mg/kg of diet which is equivalent to approximately 3.5 ounces per pound of body weight daily.
Zinc is thought to be generally harmless, especially when given orally. With exceptionally high zinc consumption, however, manifestations of overt poisoning symptoms (nausea, vomiting, epigastric discomfort, lethargy, and weariness) will emerge. At higher doses, zinc can be toxic to humans.
The toxicity of zinc depends on how it is administered and the quantity consumed. When zinc is ingested in large amounts over a short period, it can be toxic to humans. However, if it is taken over a long period, at low levels of consumption, then there is no risk of toxicity.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of zinc for adults is 10-15 mg per day. The most common method of exposure is through the ingestion of foods that contain zinc. The amount of zinc in food sources varies depending on the type of product and how it is processed. For example, oysters contain about 50 mg of zinc per serving while corn flakes contain only about 1 mg per serving.
The main source of zinc intake for most people is not food but rather additives used in medicine and industry. Zinc additives are needed to prevent contamination of food by metals which would otherwise cause digestive problems for those who eat it. Examples include zinc oxide and zinc acetate. In industrial processes, zinc compounds are used to remove acidity from wood and to treat metal surfaces before painting or plating them.
Pet-friendly does not always imply secure. Pets can get zinc poisoning from frequent skin contact with zinc oxide, which can destroy red blood cells. Your pet may experience moderate skin irritation and redness if applied to the skin. If you think your pet has ingested zinc, call your veterinarian immediately.
Zinc is needed for a healthy immune system and sexual function. Without enough zinc, your body will be vulnerable to infections and diseases that would otherwise be preventable. The best source of zinc for dogs is oysters, but only about 5% of people eat them so they're not much use as a zinc source for humans.
Pets can develop a taste for zinc-rich foods such as oysters and lobster tails and might try to eat them anyway of when they become ill. If you believe that your pet has eaten something toxic, call your vet immediately.
It is possible to give your pet too much zinc. Signs of excess zinc include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, sluggish behavior, and muscle weakness. Too much zinc in the body can be just as harmful as too little; therefore, it is important to keep zinc levels in your pet's system within the recommended range of 10-50mg/kg of body weight daily.
Zinc phosphide is a common component of rodenticides and other pesticides. If your cat is permitted outside, he or she is more likely to become ill from zinc phosphide poisoning. Zinc phosphide is very dangerous and can be fatal if consumed.
The most common symptom of zinc phosphide poisoning in cats is severe diarrhea that does not stop. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, irritability, and weakness. A high-protein diet may help reduce the amount of zinc phosphide your cat consumes before becoming sick. If you see your cat eating anything besides food, take him or her to the veterinarian right away so that proper treatment can be started.
Heavy metal poisoning will result in signs and symptoms affecting the brain and gastrointestinal systems of an animal. Seizures, running in circles or aimlessly, blindness, ataxia (loss of muscular coordination), and behavioral abnormalities are common neurological indications of poisoning. Gastrointestinal signs include vomiting, diarrhea, and failure to eat. The most common cause of heavy metal toxicity in animals is from eating contact with metal exposed in soil or contaminated food. Other sources include mining ore, metal trim from cars, and metal shavings from jewelry.
Animals can be exposed to metals through ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through their skin. Metals that are toxic to dogs include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, mercury, nickel, silver, and zinc. Dogs may also be exposed to metals through object that they play with such as jewelry, collar buttons, and old coins. These objects can contain concentrations of metals high enough to be harmful if swallowed.
Dogs can become poisoned by any of these metals after exposure to them either through their food or environment. Animals who consume large amounts of metal contaminated meat may become acutely ill and require medical attention. However others who are less sensitive to the metal may not show signs of illness until they have ingested more than what would be considered safe for a human.