Free Lead Toxicity Blood Tests Available for Dogs in Flint
Flint, Michigan is holding free screening events for local pet parents, who want to ensure their dogs haven’t been poisoned by Flint River’s lead-contaminated water.
Just three months ago, Flint reported two positive tests for dogs with lead poisoning due to the lead-contaminated water in Flint River. In an effort to catch lead poisoning in dogs before it turns fatal, the Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is now hosting a free screening event.
The effort involves having professors, technicians and students volunteer to draw blood from dogs and test them for any health problems. So far, State veterinarian James Averill says out to 226 dogs tested so far, seven have had high levels of lead in their blood.
Flint continues to be in a state of emergency since the declaration was made October. When the city of Flint switched to using the Flint River water, they failed to add proper chemical treatment. Consequently, lead from old pipes bled into the water and both people and pets were exposed for months before anything was said or done.
Michigan State assistant professor Daniel Langlois is overseeing a recent screening at a Flint Church. He says that the major focus so far had been on human health. “But at the same time, there are a lot of pets that live in the city of Flint, and we just wanted to make sure their health wasn’t ignored.”
For humans, being exposed to lead can cause developmental delays, and the effects are similar in animals as well. Averill said that when animals and humans alike are exposed for a longer period of time to high levels of lead, then consequences can result in brain changes and seizures.
Symptoms of lead poisoning in dogs include lethargy, vomiting, poor appetite, diarrhea, and weakness. If you suspect your dog has lead poisoning, be sure to bring them to your local vet to get tested.
In order to keep your pooch safe from Flint water, Averill recommends Flint citizens keep their toilet lids closed to prevent their dogs from accidentally consuming it and only allow your dog to drink filtered or bottle water.
[ Source: BigStory]