Message Number: YG173 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Dr. Bruce Williams
Date: 2001-02-25 12:51:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Lead Poisoning

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., ktee1976@y... wrote:
> We have a 6yr. old male ferret that could have lead poisning. he
> kept in a room were they were doing some hand sanding ona old door
> repaint. Simptoms are similar as in rat poisoning. Every place were
> he was given fluids SQ he as severe hemorrageing and massive
> bruiseing. Paint was tested for lead an is positive. ANY HELP in
> case is welcome. will be doing a complete Blood chem on monday. if
> lead levels are high we will start EDTA calcuim.
> Thanks Ktee

Dear Ktee:

A blood lead test would be helpful in this case, but I am ot thinking
lead as the likely cause of his symptoms. Lead may do a number of
things in the body, but clotting dysfunction is generally not though
of as one of them.

Acute lead poisoning is not commonly seen, most cases are the result
of a chronic intoxication. Plus this ferret would have to ingest
significant amounts of paint chips. Simply being in a room with lead
based paint is not generally enough.

In most caess of poisoning in small animals, anemia is the most
common presenting sign, followed by neurologic dysfunction. Lead
interferes with the development of new red blood cells. Gi signs can
be seen in acute ingestion of large amounts of lead.

A cursory review of the literature does not reveal a documented case
of plumbism (lead poisoning) in ferrets - not to say that it has
never happened.

Bloodwork would be very helpful - a CBC to document anemia, a
platelet test, and a chemistry to screen the other organs. We would
be very interested to hear the results of the blood lead test.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM
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