The Last Ride

Large Animal Removal and Disposal


Recognizing Lead Poisoning in Horses

Lead poisoning can be a very serious issue in horses, with untreated lead poisoning ultimately leading to death. In most cases, lead poisoning occurs when a horse has grazed on a pasture that has been contaminated by industrial waste. Due to the serious consequences of lead poisoning, it is important to know how to recognize the symptoms so you can get treatment right away.

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

A horse that is experiencing lead poisoning may experience impaired function of the peripheral nerves, weakness of the body and limbs and a general unsteadiness. Other symptoms include:

  • Anemia
  • Laryngeal nerve damage or paralysis
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pharyngeal paralysis
  • Respiratory distress
  • Rolling Eyes
  • Temporary blindness

Thankfully, testing for lead poisoning is fairly simple. If you recognize any of these symptoms or otherwise believe your horse may have been exposed to lead, contact your veterinarian to perform a blood test. Since lead poisoning is fairly uncommon in horses, you will need to advocate on its behalf to ensure your veterinarian tests for this condition so the proper treatment can be put in place.

Treating Lead Poisoning in Horses

Treatment of lead poisoning is only effective if it is diagnosed early. Treatment generally consists of administering calcium disodium edendate through an intravenous tube. This treatment can remove the lead from the horse’s body in less than a week.

If your beloved horse passes away, allow The Last Ride Arizona to provide large animal removal services in a respectful and timely manner.

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