Mercury Poisoning in Dogs
Mercury, also often known as quick silver, is an extremely poisonous heavy metal. This silver colored liquid is usually used for medical treatments. However, it is fast becoming a major threat to our environment.
For some time, mercury was used extensively for manufacturing medical equipment and in other industries. In the recent times, the toxicity of mercury has been studied and it has been seen that mercury is extremely poisonous, because of which its use has been largely regulated. Still it is not uncommon to come in contact with mercury, since it is used in many of our daily use equipments.
Mercury poisoning in dogs is most usually caused due to exposure to large quantities of airborne mercury particles. When mercury containing garbage is simply incinerated and not disposed off properly, it can cause mercury particles to get airborne. Later, the mercury particles settle down in the ground and may contaminate the soil and the ground on which our pets play and lie down.
Residents living in areas close to large industrial units are also often exposed to large quantities of mercury and other isotopes which are discharged as industrial waste in nearby lakes, rivers, and other water sources. When the marine life gets contaminated with mercury, it passes on to humans along the food chain.
Some of the common sources of mercury discharge around the house are broken fluorescent lights, thermometers, thermostats, barometers, button cell batteries, medical devices which measure blood pressure, and electrical switches.
Mercury and iron toxicity in dogs, along with any other kind of metal poisoning, can be fatal. This is because the dog’s body cannot process excessive amounts of these metals. Metal poisoning in dogs causes severe damage to the nervous system. The cardiovascular system, kidneys, and digestive system may also get affected. Depending on the severity of the exposure the dog may develop genetic defects which cause puppies to be born with several congenital defects. To protect your pets from mercury exposure, make sure that your surroundings are clean. In your household switch to products which do not contain mercury. Electronic thermometers and thermostats are some healthy alternatives to mercury based equipment.
Apart from taking these precautions, also make sure that you always recycle any used bulbs and other fluorescent lights, especially those lights which use mercury powder to coat the glass from inside. Make a separate waste basket for hazardous waste and always recycle this kind of waste material.