Posted February 09, 2016

Lead poisoning is a potentially serious condition that calls for veterinary attention.

Download Pet Lead Safety Flyer (PDF): English | Spanish

Things to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Behaviorial changes
  • Sleepiness/fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Weakness
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Blindness
  • Belly/stomach ache
  • Crying

These changes may develop over time. If animals display any of these signs, please seek veterinary care.


Animals can come into contact with lead in a variety of ways:

  • Drinking water
  • Using improperly glazed ceramic food or water bowls
  • Eating or licking paint chips
  • Eating lead, like bullets, sinkers and golf balls

Diagnosis and Treatment:

Lead poisoning could be a serious condition.

If you suspect your pet has been exposed to lead, contact a veterinarian to talk about testing and treatment.

Pet safety tips for dealing with water that has lead in it:

  • If your water has been tested and the lead level exceeds 150 ppb, only provide bottled water to your pet
  • If your water has been tested and the lead level does not exceed 150 ppb, give your pet bottled or filtered water to drink
  • Give your pet bottled or filtered water to drink
  • Use bottled or filtered water when making your pet’s food
  • Keep the toilet seat down! 
  • Do not allow pets to drink out of an unflitered water source
  • Remember, this applies to all types of animals
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Toxicities are reportable to the State Veterinarian’s Office. Any veterinarian that suspects or has confirmed a case of toxicity, is to report the case to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development by calling 1-800-292-3939.

Also see MI Spartan Impact, MSU and Flint: Partnering for a Healthier Future.