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Zinc intoxication in dogs: 19 cases (1991–2003)

Carolyn M. Gurnee DVM1 and Kenneth J. Drobatz DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC2
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  • 1 Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-5438.
  • | 2 Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-5438.

Abstract

Objective—To determine physical examination findings, clinicopathologic changes, and prognosis in dogs with zinc toxicosis.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—19 dogs with zinc toxicosis.

Procedures—Medical records from 1991 through 2003 were searched for animals with a diagnosis of zinc toxicosis.Information concerning signalment, body weight, historical findings, initial owner complaints, physical examination findings, clinicopathologic findings, blood zinc concentrations, source of zinc, treatments given, duration of hospital stay, and outcome was collected.

Results—Records of 19 dogs with zinc toxicosis were reviewed.The most common historical findings were vomiting (n = 14) and pigmenturia (12).The most common clinicopatho logic findings were anemia (n = 19) and hyperbilirubinemia (12).Median age was 1.3 years, and median weight was 5.6 kg (12.3 lb). The prognosis was favorable, with 17 dogs surviving after a median hospital stay of 2 days.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hemolytic anemia as a result of zinc toxicosis appeared to affect young small-breed dogs more frequently than older large-breed dogs.The prognosis with treatment is good, and most affected dogs had a short hospital stay.

Abstract

Objective—To determine physical examination findings, clinicopathologic changes, and prognosis in dogs with zinc toxicosis.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—19 dogs with zinc toxicosis.

Procedures—Medical records from 1991 through 2003 were searched for animals with a diagnosis of zinc toxicosis.Information concerning signalment, body weight, historical findings, initial owner complaints, physical examination findings, clinicopathologic findings, blood zinc concentrations, source of zinc, treatments given, duration of hospital stay, and outcome was collected.

Results—Records of 19 dogs with zinc toxicosis were reviewed.The most common historical findings were vomiting (n = 14) and pigmenturia (12).The most common clinicopatho logic findings were anemia (n = 19) and hyperbilirubinemia (12).Median age was 1.3 years, and median weight was 5.6 kg (12.3 lb). The prognosis was favorable, with 17 dogs surviving after a median hospital stay of 2 days.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hemolytic anemia as a result of zinc toxicosis appeared to affect young small-breed dogs more frequently than older large-breed dogs.The prognosis with treatment is good, and most affected dogs had a short hospital stay.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Gurnee.