Radiodense material is easily seen on radiographs of the GI tract in animals with zinc-containing foreign bodies. Changes in the CBC, chemistry profile, urinalysis, and coagulation profile reflect the degree of toxicity to various organ systems. The hemogram typically reveals a regenerative hemolytic anemia characterized by changes in erythrocyte morphology. The leukogram often shows a neutrophilic leukocytosis secondary to stress, pancreatitis, and a regenerative bone marrow. Serum chemistry changes that are seen secondary to hepatic damage include elevations in bilirubin, the transaminases, and alkaline phosphatase. As zinc accumulates in the pancreas, increases in amylase and lipase can be seen following pancreatitis and pancreatic necrosis. Glomerular damage and renal tubular epithelial necrosis result in elevations in BUN, creatinine, amylase, and urine protein. Hemoglobinuria can be differentiated from hematuria during urinalysis; the urine color will not clear after centrifugation in the presence of hemoglobinuria. Prolongation of prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time can result from toxic effects on the synthesis or function of coagulation factors.
oh wow...that is scary how something that small can cause so much harm. Thank you for posting this! very useful information to know! vet bills can be very expensive if your dog is not insured, and if something like this ...it's good to prevent it (by not leaving pennies or other small dog consumable items on the floor) or to figure out what the problem is sooner than later.
Pennies aren't toxic just for dogs. They are toxic to humans too. The problem with intoxication like this is that, unfortunately, not always diagnosed in time. The symptoms may include anemia, liver damage, kidney failure, and so on...
Its not just coins, even small items like nuts, staples,zippers, some parts of toys, some jewellery and even som lotions have zinc in them and can cause zincpison in doga. Cats too can get affectd by zinc poisoning.
We heard from a reader that her one year old dog started falling over and acting sick. She took him to the vet, and it turned out he had eaten four pennies and a quarter at some time in his short life. The vet could not get the coins to pass through the stomach, so he ended up doing surgery to remove them.
U.S. pennies minted after 1982 have a copper coating around a zinc core, and contain roughly 2,440mg. of elemental zinc. One penny can cause zinc poisoning in animals. The vet explained that the smell of zinc seems to attract dogs. This particular dog had gotten on a dresser and picked out the coins containing zinc.
The zinc was breaking down in the gut and causing zinc poisoning. The red blood cells were exploding. The dog was suffering from anemia and the vet gave him some compound to help with couteracting the zinc. The had to do a blood transfusion and the bill was above $2,000.
Zinc posoning can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, weight loss, anemia, seizures, and kidney failure. It's amazing that a simple thing like a penny can be so harmful. Be sure to tell yourkids to keep those pennies off the floor where the dog can't eat them.