Poison for Dogs: Coins

The problem of money… Money is a nice sight most of the time, just not when it’s in your dog’s stomach. Did you know that coins can be poison for dogs?

We all have loose money or change lying around. In fact, just walking from my kitchen to my bedroom I spotted 2 pennies and a nickel. Though not much in value, those coins could be costly. How? For new puppy owner, that change could be a hazard to his health. Puppies are notorious for getting into things and for putting anything on the floor into their mouths. For some pennies in particular,  this could be very dangerous:  it could lead to zinc poisoning in dogs.

Pennies minted after 1982 contain zinc. While zinc is an important element, too much can make your pet extremely sick and could even be fatal. When a dog swallows a penny, his acidic stomach environment leads to a rapid release of zinc from the penny, and the zinc forms corrosive and highly toxic zinc salts. These salts then find their way into the liver and kidneys, bones, pancreas and muscles.

Symptoms of zinc toxicity occur very quickly. Symptoms to be on the lookout for are:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Jaundice
  • Discolored urine
  • Poor appetite

If you suspect your puppy has eaten a coin, be sure to have the vet take an x-ray. Zinc can also be found in batteries, skin creams, paint, zippers and screws. Be on the lookout for what is on your floor, because it can end up in your dog’s mouth.

Did you dog ever accidentally eat a coin? What was the outcome? Share the story with us in the comment section!

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1 Response

  1. sherry zoellner says:

    ours was a sad outcome. our 10-year-old dashie went lame on this past easter. we took to the ER vet where they did x-rays–lo and behold not only did she have a herniated disk, she had a coin in her stomach. the only thing i can think of is it must have bounced in her food bowl and she just gobbled it down. unfortunately, she was facing an unknown outcome with her back (mri, shots and/or surgery with no guarentees) and a certain outcome of surgery to get the coin out after we got her back stablized (if they could that is), so we had to make the horrible choice and took her to rainbow. i never knew how dangerous coins were to our pets and had to learn the hard way. RIP Chloe–alway known as my little chocolate cupcake…..

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