How much do you know about the paint used in your house? Has your house built before 1970? Is the paint in poor condition - flaking, peeling or chalking? Are the areas of deteriorating paint accessible to your pets? Are you currently renovating? Lead poisoning could be a potential risk to your pet.
Fine lead particles deposited from paint in soil or household dust can become a constant risk to the health of young children, and our pets. It can be absorbed mostly by eating or licking it or by coming into contact with contaminated dust or soil.
The clinical signs of lead poisoning are gastrointestinal signs such as not eating and vomiting, and neurological signs such as seizures and temporary blindness.
How you can prevent this from happening to your pet
If you are renovating an older house (earlier than 1970) or notice flaking, peeling or chalking paint, test your paint to see if it contains lead (test kits are avialble). If it does so, there are special cautionary steps you can take to minimise the risk of lead toxicity.
If you suspect, your pet has had access to lead or is showing any of the mentioned signs, contact your vet immediately.
The Department of Environment and Heritage have a useful publication on painting your home, visit http://www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/airquality/publications/leadpaint.html and download their publication “The six step guide to painting your home"