Mercury Poisoning Average Cost

From 51 quotes ranging from $2,000 - 8,000

Average Cost

$3,500

First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

What is Mercury Poisoning?

Mercury occurs naturally in several forms. Too much mercury in your dog’s body can damage the cardiovascular system, nervous system, kidneys, and digestive tract. Continued exposure can also injure the inner surfaces of the digestive tract and abdominal cavity, causing lesions and inflammation. There have also been reports of lesions in the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain), kidneys, and renal glands. Many causes of mercury poisoning in dogs is caused by eating button batteries, glass thermometers, light bulbs, and fish. However, there are cases of mercury poisoning from mercury found in the soil, groundwater, or even vapors from burning oil or gas. The lights in tennis shoes that light up when you walk are also toxic, and should be kept away from your dog. If you believe your dog has been exposed to mercury in any form, you should visit your veterinarian right away, even if there are no evident symptoms.

Mercury poisoning used to be a common condition in people and their pets, but since the discovery of mercury replacement material for professional use, it has become much less common. However, there are still many things containing mercury that can affect your dog, such as fish, latex paint, fluorescent light bulbs, and button batteries. As a matter of fact, mercury is still found in high levels in many types of fish used in commercial canned pet food. While an occasional can of tuna or salmon may not be harmful, feeding this to your dog on a daily basis can be harmful within a few months because mercury builds up over time since it does not get expelled from the body readily.

Book First Walk Free!

Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning in Dogs

The symptoms of mercury poisoning are gradual, so they sometimes go unnoticed until the levels of mercury are high enough to cause severe symptoms. The nervous system is usually the first to be affected by mercury poisoning. This is because the brain holds mercury longer than any other part of the body, so the toxin builds up to cause damage to the central nervous system. Your dog may not start to show any symptoms at all until one or two months after exposure, making the diagnosis extremely difficult. Although most often the signs are gradual, dogs exposed to a high level of mercury can have immediate and obvious symptoms, such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal behavior and chewing
  • Anxiety
  • Blindness
  • Coma
  • Convulsion
  • Damage to the kidneys (inability to urinate, abdominal swelling)
  • Death
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of feeling in paws
  • Nervousness
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting blood
  • Watery and bloody diarrhea

 Types

  • Acute mercury poisoning is exposure to a high level of mercury that causes symptoms right away
  • Chronic mercury poisoning happens gradually from exposure to smaller amounts of mercury on a daily basis

Causes of Mercury Poisoning in Dogs

  • Eating contaminated fish or fish products
  • Exposure to contaminated soil
  • Breathing toxic fumes from burning oil or trash

Eating other items that contain mercury, such as

  • Latex paint
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Button batteries
  • Glass thermometers
  • Children’s light-up tennis shoes

Diagnosis of Mercury Poisoning in Dogs

Because your dog may not start to show any symptoms at all until one or two months after exposure, making the diagnosis extremely difficult. However, if you suspect that your dog has been exposed to mercury or some other poison, be sure to let the veterinarian know before they do any tests. Even if you are bringing your dog to the veterinarian because of symptoms not mentioned in this article, tell the veterinarian what you believe your dog was exposed to, how much, and when it happened. He will do a complete physical examination, check vitals (body temperature, breathing rate, blood pressure, and pulse) reflexes, height and weight. Next, they will do some tests, such as urinalysis, fecal flotation, complete blood count (CBC), blood chemical analysis, blood gases, and fecal cultures. A kidney biopsy will be done by using a fine needle biopsy to get a small sample of tissue to examine microscopically. Radiographs (x-rays), CT scans, MRI, and ultrasound of the abdomen and brain are usually done as well to see how far the damage has gone. If the veterinarian suspects damage to the central nervous system, an electroencephalogram (EEG) will be done to record your dog’s brain activity.

Treatment of Mercury Poisoning in Dogs

Your dog will be hospitalized and given IV fluids, oxygen therapy, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory medications. The veterinarian will usually try an activated charcoal lavage and a chelation medication, such as penicillamine or dimercaprol, to bind to the mercury so it can be eliminated through the kidneys in the urine.

Recovery of Mercury Poisoning in Dogs

Unfortunately, the damage done by the mercury is not reversible, so if your dog has severe central nervous system, cardiovascular, or renal damage, it is permanent. Many dog owners choose euthanasia if their quality of life is expected to be low. To prevent this from happening again, keep items with mercury out of the reach of your dogs.

Mercury Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Kahlua
Border Collie
3 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Seizures fatigue and pale poo
Seizures

What are the risks with shark cartilage dog treats as my dog became ill after being given them by a neighbour she had one seizure and other symptoms such as fatigue and disoriented the vet said it was the dog treats

Add a comment to Kahlua's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Benson
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
13 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of Muscle Tone
Loss of fur
Deafness
Uncoordination

I’ve been giving my dog fishy bites - dried fish skin squares - for a couple of years. He’s nearly 13 and a half and has glaucoma in one eye, went deaf suddenly after treatment for an ear infection and has lost muscle tone and has been uncoordinated in his back legs for about six months now. He is also losing his fur from the tips of his ears and from his tummy. Could this be mercury poisoning from the fishy bites? He has them about four times a day.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
It is difficult to say whether the fishy bites may be contributing to the symptoms or the symptoms are due to aging and side effects of medications; some products used for the treatment of ear infections contain gentamicin which can cause a loss of hearing (both temporary or permanent), also weakness in the hind legs may be caused by aging or other issues like spinal injury. You should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side and to determine the cause of the symptoms. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Benson's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Gem
Pit bull
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

anxiety

A Fluorescent light bulb, while turned on, broke inside of the house. It was all over the carpet so unfortunately I had to vacuum the remaining pieces. When the bulb initially broke, she wasn’t in the room. She got curious of the noise and was probably 50 feet from where it shattered. She was only near it for about 30 seconds and I took her out of the room. Is she exposed to the mercury?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
The amount of mercury found in a fluorescent light bulb is very small and much smaller than what was used in thermometers; if Gem wasn’t close to the breaking bulb, I wouldn’t be too concerned but I would ensure that everything was cleaned properly afterwards. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Gem's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Bella
Dutch Shepherd
5 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

anxiety
nervous

Hi, For the last couple of years I have been adding a bit of tuna to my dogs evening meal. She eats probably around 1.5 cans per week. Only today I have I heard how high the levels of mercury can be and I will stop the practice. My questions is that while my dog doesnt seem to exhibit any symptoms now. What signs can I watch for that would indicate a problem from chronic exposure? She has no physical symptoms. Her behavior is a bit different. She has always been a high strung dog. So her being a bit nervous and wired isnt anything new. But now she seems to get more fearful easily. Could this behavior be linked to the mercury or are these changes more likely age related? Thank you for any information you can add.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Mercury poisoning is uncommon in dogs, even ones fed with tuna; however the accumulation of mercury in the body may cause some symptoms to present, any symptoms would be permanent since the damage caused by mercury poisoning is irreversible and we stop only the progression and exposure. You should look out for the symptoms listed on this page and the link below. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.msdvetmanual.com/toxicology/mercury-poisoning/overview-of-mercury-poisoning

Add a comment to Bella's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Piper
Blue heale
9 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Mercury Ingestion

This morning my dog found a coil light bulb in my sons room and chewed on it breaking the bulb. Do I take her in or should I wait and see if she starts acting strange? I am not sure if she broke the bulb or if it was already broken since my son doesn't feel the need to pick up his room on a regular basis and the fact that I do not hang out in his room. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Since dogs don't typically eat sharp things, you may be fine to monitor her for signs of mouth pain, vomiting, lethargy, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or decreased appetite. If she is a dog that does tend to eat things that you wouldn't think that she would, it might be a good idea to have her examined, just to make sure that she is okay. I hope that all goes well for her.

Add a comment to Piper's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Riggs
pitbull
4 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Diahhrea constipation vommiting
Diahhrea constipation
Diahhrea

Hi, I have been feeding my dog canned tuna for breakfast now for about 2 or more years. He has been having a about a week or more of diarrhea followed by constipation. Yesterday, now pooping normal, vomited white foam about 3-4 times throughout the morning. I had him fast from any food and he now seems to be doing well. He remained hungry throughout the entire expierence and continued to drink water, but was a little more sleepy than usual.

After reading about the mercury, I have immediately stopped feeding him any canned fish. I’m wondering if I need to rush him to the vet now since I’ve read many horror stories.

He was just at the vet 5 days ago because he stepped on glass and had to have a small piece removed from his pad. I mentioned he was abnormally pooping so he has had a fecal test which came back positive (I believe they checked for parasites and I’m not sure if they check for other things) as well as some vaccinations and heartworm testing.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. From the information that you provided, it seems that Riggs is generally healthy. It is unlikely that his acute signs of vomiting are from mercury poisoning, though cutting back on his ingestion of canned tuna might be a good idea. If he continues to do well, you should be okay monitoring him for recurrence of signs. If he continues to vomit, or develops diarrhea, it would be a good idea to follow up with your veterinarian to determine that cause. I hope that he continues to do well.

Add a comment to Riggs's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Aztec
Chihuahua
15 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

I was feeding my dog a high quality canned fish food for about 2 years. This is because fish was the only protein his sensitive stomach could tolerate so my vet informed me not to change. Unfortunately, I had to let him go 10 months due to a bacterial infection. The last few months before he got the infection, he had symptoms of dementia and a grade 3 heart murmur. Does all fish contain mercury even if it’s feom a high quality food? Could it have contributed to his decline? I’ve been beating myself up over this for so long :(

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm sorry for your loss, that is hard no matter what the circumstances. Without knowing Aztec, or his situation or diagnoses, it is difficult for me to comment on what might have contributed to his decline, bit I can say that I would be surprised if the Mercury levels in the fish that you fed him contributed in any large part to his passing. As 15 years old, Aztec was a senior dog, and things happen with everyone, eventually. We want them to live forever, but nobody can. Again, I am sorry for the loss of your Aztec.

Add a comment to Aztec's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Cuillin
Great Pyrenees
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

anxiety

I bought a lamp with a CFL bulb, which broke whilst being transported home. I stopped to collect my dog after the bulb had broken. Bulb was in the back seat of the car, dog was in the trunk area. The drive home was less than 10 minutes, and I drove with the windows down. Is there a risk from mercury vapors to my dog? There is a grill so I know he didn’t eat any. He’s been a bit anxious this evening, though he does sometimes have anxious spells anyway. No other symptoms.

Add a comment to Cuillin's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Jersey
Shepherd/Collie
12 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargic, bloated

We have been feeding Jersey 1 can of tuna a day for a year with her kibbles. She just suddenly stopped eating, has trouble walking, seems very stiff, lethargic, drink a lot of water, and has a bloated tummy.
She hasn’t eaten in 3 days
I hand fed her a little chicken and rice, raw carrots but that’s it, she didn’t want much and still doesn’t want to eat

She just pooped for the first time on day 4, it’s “soft” and has mucus “clumps”

She’s not fixed, she did go through a heat, but doesn’t seem like shes pregnant, we have 2 other dogs and they are fine so ruling out worms...

Worried about the mercury even though I read it’s uncommon

I also have her a couple doses of CBD oil so far

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
There are many things that may be going on with Jersey that are more common than mercury poisoning. She may have a uterine infection, she may have a systemic disease, or a tumor. Unfortunately, without seeing her, I can't tell what might be going on. From your description, it would be a good idea to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can assess her health and see what might be happening with her.

Add a comment to Jersey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Aztec
Chihuahua
15 Years
Critical condition
-1 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Mercury

I was feeding my dog a high quality canned whitefish food for a couple of years because fish was the only protein his sensitive stomach could tolerate. Unfortunately, I had to let him go a year ago due to a stomach bacterial infection. The vet couldn’t tell me where or how he got it. The last few months before he got the infection, he started having symptoms of dementia and his heart murmur worsened to a grade three. Does all fish contain mercury even if it’s from a high quality source? Could it have contributed to his decline? I feel like this is all my fault :(

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Regardless of quality, nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury; whitefish has relatively low levels of mercury generally compared with other fish. The problem with mercury poisoning is that it accumulates in the body and when consumed in large enough quantities may reach toxic levels; neurological damage from mercury poisoning is irreversible. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/metals/ucm351781.htm www.msdvetmanual.com/toxicology/mercury-poisoning/overview-of-mercury-poisoning

I fed him small amounts each day over a couple of years. Are you saying that could have caused his dementia?

He was being fed small amounts each day over a couple of years. So you are saying it could have caused his dementia?

Add a comment to Aztec's experience

Was this experience helpful?