There has been a lot of press about lead in toys and the potential for lead toxicity. The most common source for lead toxicity in dogs is ingestion of paint chips and dust caused by home renovations.
Do you live in an old house? Before you start your next renovation there is something you should know. There may be lead in the paint you are scraping away and it could poison your children and your dog!
Lead is a metal that can be toxic. Old paint (produced prior to 1977) contained lead as a primary ingredient. The paint, paint chips and paint dust from homes being renovated are a possible source of lead that can cause lead toxicity. The paint is perfectly safe while it's on the walls, but once you start scraping and disturbing the paint, you may have a problem as the lead is released into the air.
Dogs are in danger of suffering lead toxicity. The dust may get in their fur or paws and then be ingested when grooming. If you suspect or know that there is lead in the paint of your home, you should definitely keep your dog away from any renovation projects, preferably by having them boarded and running an air purifier in the construction area.
Common signs of lead poisoning may include vomiting and diarrhea. If toxicity progresses it can progress to symptoms that involves the nervous system such as seizures or abnormal behavior. Lead toxicity can also cause anemia, which can cause lethargy and weakness.
Hundreds of pets are poisoned by lead each year. This kind of thing is not uncommon. In fact - we had a little dog named Jack (a Jack Russell) that ate a bunch of old paint while their kitchen was being remodeled. About 6 months later - Jack came in very lethargic and weak. He was anemic. We traced it back to the lead.