Dog Dies After Eating Penny

Recently, a Westie in Colorado died after ingesting a penny and a quarter, but it was the penny that caused the most damage, because it was high in zinc. The dog that died also ate some loose change when it was a puppy and had to have surgery to remove it.

Zinc can be toxic to dogs and cats when they consume it in the form of pennies, bolts, staples, jewelry, zippers or metal board game pieces. Penny ingestion is the most common form of zinc toxicity. Pennies made in the US after 1982 are very high in zinc, as are Canadian pennies made from 1997-2001.

Image Credit: Christopher Walker, Wiki Commons
Image Credit: Christopher Walker, Wiki Commons

(The Westie pictured here is not the dog that died, but intended only as an example of the breed.)

Stomach acids from animals break down the zinc which then is released into the body and decreases red blood cell production.

The first signs are vomiting and not eating. Then jaundice and red urine may result. Depression and seizures are the later stages and death may result from anemia, cardiovascular collapse and multi-organ failure. If the situation is identified and treated early on, some animals will survive. Surgery is often performed to remove the metal objects, if they were not vomited out.

Some other pet poisons are:

Prescription Human Medications


Over-the-Counter Human Medications

Veterinary Products and Medications

Household Products

People Food




Lawn and Garden Products

Many animals get sick every year, due to being exposed to human objects and some of them die. If people raise their awareness, less pet poisonings will occur and fewer animals will die. Share this article to spread the word.

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