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Question - lead shot in dogs

Old 09-18-2006, 05:09 PM
Fork Horn
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hootnscoot's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 254
Default Question - lead shot in dogs

Hoping to get some advice / info from this post. Recently my yellow lab was sprayed from about 70 yards away with #7.5 lead shot. I won't get into the details but the guy that shot her was extremely mortified.

We picked 12 pellets out of the dog right there, another 3-4 a few hours later and when I took her to the vet for some x-rays we located another 7, of which only 3 I can 'feel' on the surface of the skin. The other 4 are nowhere near a joint but do appear to be 1/8-1/4 inch imbedded.

My vet looked up some info on the veterinary information webpage (www.vin.com - but you have to be a member to access)on lead poisoning with LEAD (I repeat LEAD versus STEEL shot) and determined that 'lead embedded in soft tissures is not well absorbed in the absence of active inflammation. Acidic environments enhance absorption, so if any of the shot is lodged ina joint cavity, absorption is increased. If there is any significant inflammation around the shot, absorption will also be increased'.

Looking at the x-rays the vet was able to clearly deduce that we weren't in any danger of the above situation. She therefore suggested that we do nothing since there are no pellets near a joint, no innflammation of the areas, and the dog has shown absolutely no negative side effects after the shooting.

My question is this -do any of you have any additional information ont his topic? I know that I've already been toldy that 'there are lots of dogs walking arond out there with lead in them' but I was hoping to get some piece of mind and additional confirmation that I should not be worried about this.

Please don't bother telling me what I should do to the guy that shot the dog. He is a great friend and a even greater person and is absolutely mortified that this happened, a devout dog trainer he owns three nationally titled retrievers himself. He's already beat himself up about it enough, what I'd like to focus on is the health of my dog moving foward.

I welcome your comments/suggestions/information,


hootnscoot is offline  
Old 09-19-2006, 06:18 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Waterford, MI.
Posts: 307
Default RE: Question - lead shot in dogs

This is not a medical or scientific opinion, but I had a GSP that got "Cheneyed" and continued to be a fine hunter until he was 11 yrs.old. Then he partially retired and finally passed on at 14 1/2. it was explained pretty much the same as it was explained to you that if the shot remained in soft tissue it should cause no problem. Hope this helps you worry a little less. I never knew who hit my dog, it was during the time we had "Put and Take" hunting in Mich.
rcgerchow is offline  
Old 09-20-2006, 11:55 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,148
Default RE: Question - lead shot in dogs

I am a toxicologist andI do a lot of work with heavy metals. Lead poisoning is primarily through oral routes -- eating paint chips. For rats, the lethal dose that kills 50% of the population (LD50)is 70 mg/kg when administered intraveinously.

Bottom line - it would take one hell of a lot more lead than 4 or 5 #7.5 pellets to lead poison a dog the size of a lab to the point of death. I would expect his body to form a granuloma or some other sort of encapsulating tissue around the pellets.

AlaskaMagnum is offline  
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