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Two dogs in Flint test positive for lead toxicity

Feb 7, 2016

Credit bullcitydogs / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Officials are reminding people to make sure pets aren't drinking unfiltered Flint tap water, after two area dogs tested positive for lead toxicity in recent months.

State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill says the tests were confirmed in October 2015 and January 2016.

He said both dogs, a stray and a family pet, could've been exposed to Flint's lead-tainted water.

Both dogs are still alive.

Symptoms of lead exposure in pets vary greatly and can include vomiting, diarrhea and changes in behavior.

"If [pets] aren't acting normal or doing their normal routine, that's when you need to go chat with a veterinarian," Averill said. "The clinical signs [of lead exposure] are pretty broad. There isn't one telltale sign that points toward lead toxicity."

Averill said pet owners in Flint should take the same steps they take to protect themselves from lead in the city's water, including only giving their pets bottled or filtered water.

Using tap water to bathe pets is okay, he said, but owners should try to dry pets as quickly as possible afterward.