Can a dog throw up a penny?

A: Yes, for two reasons. Coins can block the gastrointestinal tract, especially in a small dog. If that happens, Lincoln may stop eating and start vomiting. More likely, though, his stomach acid will dissolve the pennies’ copper coating, exposing their zinc core.

My husband is notorious for leaving his change lying around the house. Our new puppy, which we received for Christmas, is constantly picking things up off the floor. Should I be worried that she might eat a coin?.

You bring up a great point that many pet owners discover the hard way. It is common for pets, especially puppies, to ingest coins. The majority of coins are safe for dogs to handle, but pennies made after 1982 contain zinc. Dogs cannot consume zinc because it can be fatal. Not only are pennies made of zinc, but batteries, paints, skin creams, zippers, and screws are also made of zinc. In addition to potential issues with the kidneys and liver, it can also result in a severe anemia.

Since we are veterinarians, we treat all coin ingestions seriously. The rapid zinc release from pennies caused by the stomach’s acidic environment results in the formation of extremely toxic and corrosive zinc salts. The zinc is absorbed and then moved to the liver, where it can also build up in the kidneys, bones, pancreas, prostate, and muscles.

Symptoms of zinc toxicity can occur rapidly. Lethargy, vomiting, poor appetite, diarrhea, jaundice, and discolored urine are some of these symptoms. Bring your puppy in for a vet checkup if you think she may have ever consumed a coin or coins.

Anemia is the most frequent condition that veterinarians find to be caused by zinc consumption. The cause of the anemia is unknown, but it is frequently severe and may need blood transfusions to be treated because it can be fatal. An abdominal x-ray should be taken to check for any metal in the stomach or intestines to confirm the diagnosis of zinc poisoning.

At the Oradell Animal Hospital, we advise immediate removal via endoscopy when a coin is discovered in a dog’s stomach on an x-ray because the best possible care depends on getting rid of the toxic substance as soon as possible. Under general anesthesia, endoscopy is a non-invasive, non-surgical technique for locating and removing foreign metal. Even if an animal arrives at the hospital in the middle of the night as an emergency, we frequently remove coins with an endoscope. After endoscopy, many animals are stable enough to return home, depending on the patient’s condition. But some of the more serious patients might need additional therapies like blood transfusions, chelation therapy, and steroids.

Symptoms of Acute Zinc Toxicity in Dogs

  • Stomach pain, headaches, lethargy
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea
  • Urine retention
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Pale gums and/or tongue
  • Orange-colored feces
  • Dark, brown, or red-colored urine
  • Fever, joint pain, chronic coughing, low blood pressure, seizures, or a metallic taste in the mouth are additional signs of chronic zinc toxicity. Zinc shakes, which are brought on by persistent inhalation of zinc particles or fumes, may be felt by some welders or those who spend a lot of time in a setting similar to an industrial one.

    The only way to be certain that your dog or cat has zinc toxicosis without taking them to the veterinarian is if you catch them in the act. Know your pet’s routines and the symptoms of zinc toxicity because it could save their life.

  • Pennies (US pennies minted 1982-present, Canadian pennies minted 1997-2001)
  • Other coins (certain UK £1, £2 coins)
  • Nuts, bolts, nails, and staples
  • Jewelry, zippers
  • Other galvanized metals (steel coated in zinc oxide)
  • Items made of brass (an alloy of zinc and copper)
  • Cold lozenges, zinc vitamin supplements
  • Board game pieces (ex: old Monopoly pieces)
  • Die cast toys (ex: Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars)
  • Electrical fuses, certain batteries and car parts
  • Certain ointments, creams, lotions, suppositories, and shampoos (some denture creams, diaper rash creams, sunscreens, calamine lotion)
  • Certain paints, fertilizers, fungicides, antiseptics
  • Sierra’s story serves as a warning to others about how expensive a penny can be, and Goldstein wears her dog’s ashes on a necklace in a heart-shaped container.

    Dr. A staff veterinarian at Petplan pet insurance, Rebecca Jackson, told CBSNews com explained in an email that the reason these newer pennies are so toxic is because the stomach acid from pets’ stomachs can quickly reach the zinc center of the coin, causing it to be quickly absorbed by the body.

    Thats because pennies minted after 1982 contain zinc, which is a toxic substance to pets such as dogs and cats, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

    Sierra was drawn to change, according to Goldstein, who recalled how her Westie as a puppy ingested 32 cents’ worth of change, necessitating surgery.

    One fortunate Jack Russell terrier in New York City experienced a health scare in March after ingesting 111 pennies and falling ill.

    The content of this page is not veterinary advice. Several elements (such as the amount of substance consumed, the size of the animal, allergies, etc.) ) determine what is toxic to a particular pet. Make a call to the Pet Poison Helpline or seek immediate veterinary care if you believe your pet has consumed something potentially harmful.

    Content written by: Dr. Cat Angle, DVM, MPH, Pet Poison Helpline

    Zinc poisoning can occur in dogs, cats, and birds secondary to ingesting metal pieces (e.g., nuts, bolts, hardware and other galvanized metals), certain topical ointments (e.g., diaper rash creams), or coins. While some coins can be safely ingested and passed out in the stool a few days later, some types of coins contain large amounts of zinc, resulting in zinc poisoning. When the zinc-containing coin enters the acid environment of the stomach, the zinc breaks down, causing stomach upset and zinc absorption into the blood stream. Zinc poisoning can lead to destruction of red blood cells, liver damage, kidney failure and heart failure. Clinical signs of zinc poisoning include weakness, pale gums (anemia), vomiting, increased breathing, increased heart rate, discolored urine, jaundiced gums, lack of appetite, and collapse. Removal of the coin is important, or severe damage to the red blood cells can occur, resulting in a severe anemia. Without therapy, ingestion of a zinc penny can be fatal.

    An x-ray should be performed right away if you believe your dog, cat, or bird has swallowed a metal object or coin. Call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline right away for life-saving treatment recommendations.


    Can dogs pass a penny?

    Pennies should not be consumed because they contain a lot of zinc and can lead to zinc toxicosis by passing through the GI tract. Based on radiographs and the type of coin consumed, your veterinarian will be able to advise you regarding whether surgery is necessary.

    What happens if my dog swallowed a coin?

    In addition to potential issues with the kidneys and liver, it can also result in a severe anemia. Since we are veterinarians, we treat all coin ingestions seriously. The rapid zinc release from pennies caused by the stomach’s acidic environment results in the formation of extremely toxic and corrosive zinc salts.

    How long does it take a dog to pass a penny?

    It can happen in as little as 10 to 24 hours for a dog to pass a coin, depending on the breed. This is only true if it can fit through the digestive tract without getting stuck. Because internal blockages can be dangerous, you should consult a veterinarian for advice.