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Penny, my 20 lb beagle/cattle dog mix, is my pride and joy. I adopted her just before the Christmas of 2010 from a rescue that specializes in puppies and pregnant dogs. She had to be bottle fed from an early age because her mother had stomped on and killed most of her litter. Penny is submissive, but one of the friendliest animals I've ever encountered.

Like most dogs, Penny has some quirks. Her obsession with metal is one of her more promenant ones. A few months ago, Penny discovered, then devoured a handful of coins. We did not know she had done it until she threw them up the next morning.

Throughout the next day and a half, her condition deteriorated to the point that her urine turned dark. We rushed her to Animal Urgent Care to learn that she had developed zinc toxicity (which causes severe anemia) from 6 pennies that had remained in her system for a mere 12 hours. Two days at the vet and a blood transfusion later, we were lucky enough to bring her home. She could have died had we not taken her in when we did.

As I had never heard of the dangers of pennies before this incident, I created a PSA to help educate pet owners (and parents - zinc is toxic to people as well!) so that they will be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of zinc toxicity and get the help they need. Please watch and share this important video - it is only 2 minutes long:


If you are unable to watch the video for whatever reason, know this:
Pennies minted after 1982 are made of over 95% zinc; small dogs and children are the most at risk for swallowing coins and developing zinc toxicity. Symptoms include: stomach pain, headaches, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, urine retention, Jaundice, pale gums and/or tongue, orange feces, and dark, brown, or red colored urine. Often times, these symptoms are the only sign that a penny has been ingested. Recognizing these symptoms quickly can be life saving.
 

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Thanks for sharing! I learned about the dangers of pennies and pets from watching the show My Dog Ate What? one of the dogs they featured had a story much like your Pennies.
 
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