Lead poisoning causes discomfort for Lucky

Lucky is a 6 year old Maltese Terrier cross whose owner brought him in to see us after he had been unwell for a few days. His owners had noticed that Lucky wasn't his usual self. He was being very quiet and was not eating much. Dr Bree examined Lucky and found that he was a bit sore in his abdomen but nothing abnormal could be felt. She admitted Lucky into hospital for intravenous fluid therapy which helped to support his liver and kidneys and kept Lucky hydrated while he was not eating. Dr Bree took some blood for testing to see if they could discover what was causing Lucky's illness.

The blood test results seemed to suggest that Lucky was suffering from lead toxicity. Dr Bree then ran a blood test that specifically checks for lead in the blood and this confirmed the diagnosis. It turned out that Lucky's owners had been doing some work on their property and it was possible that Lucky was exposed to some lead paint chips during their renovations. Once the vet knew what the issue was, we were able to order a special medication that would remove the lead from Lucky's body system to make him feel better in the process. Lucky stayed in hospital for several days so he could be injected with the special medication twice per day.

After he was discharged from the hospital, Lucky visited us a few more times for more injections but he was eating well and looking happier. He is now at home with his owners and will need to come back in a week or two for another blood test to make sure that his lead levels are back to normal.

Lucky's story is an important reminder to protect your pets, your family and yourself from harmful substances when working around your house. Some other common household substances which may be harmful to your pets include rat poisons, snail pellets, all paints especially lead-based and oil-based, human drugs (eg. paracetamol) and chocolate. Please click on the links below to find out what other toxic items around your house are harmful to your pets.