The tragedy of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan has the attention of the entire country, and rightfully so. One thing that has not been addressed, however, is the effect that the toxic water has on the animals in Flint. Although this has gone undiscussed in the media, lead toxicity in dogs is something that the state of Michigan has known about since October 2015.
According to USAToday, there are two known cases of canine illness related to lead in the water supply. Both dogs are still alive. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has released no other details on the health of the dogs. We don’t know to what degree the lead has affected their systems.
Michigan State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill told CBS:
There is no regular testing for lead. What we do is we rely on the veterinarians who have the boots on the ground that are interacting with their clients and looking at the patients in front of them.
He noted that it’s crucial for pet owners to know what’s normal for their dogs. Some signs of lead poisoning go unnoticed because they affect a dog’s mental state and also include increased exhaustion. If you live in an area with toxic water, you need to see your vet if anything changes about your dog’s daily routine.
Dr. Averill recommends that, just as humans should do, dogs should not drink the local water. Instead, give your pups, and other pets, filtered or bottled water.
We will update this story if more cases of lead toxicity in dogs are diagnosed.
h/t Yahoo News.