Q. Could my 8-month-old puppy have gotten lead poisoning from chipping the paint and eating the baseboard of our kitchen? Is there a blood test I can request?
A. Lead poisoning is an often fatal toxicity in dogs, especially puppies who may swallow large amounts when they chew on painted woodwork. Dogs with lead toxicity will vomit, act lethargic, and become severely anemic (low on red blood cells). Lead poisoning can be diagnosed by looking at a slide of a blood smear, or by analysis at a clinical pathology laboratory.
Fortunately, lead-based paints are not used in the United States anymore, and have not been for a long time. If your woodwork was painted in the last 20 years, there is very little risk of lead poisoning.
If you notice any change in your dog’s attitude or behavior, by all means, get him checked out.