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Haemolytic anaemia and acute pancreatitis associated with zinc toxicosis in a dog
  1. R. Blundell, BVetMed, MSc, PhD, MRCVS
  1. Veterinary Pathology, School of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Chester High Road, Neston, CH64 7TE, UK
  1. F. Adam, BVM&S, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS
  1. Small Animal Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Chester High Road, Neston CH64 7TE, UK
  2. Current address of F. Adam: The Friesian Buildings 3 & 4, The Brewerstreet, Dairy Business Park, Brewer Street, Bletchingley, Surrey RH1 4QP, UK;
  1. E-mail for correspondence: r.j.blundell{at}


We describe a case of zinc toxicity in a 14-month-old, female, neutered, Cavalier King Charles spaniel with a 48-hour history of haematochezia, icterus and collapse. Regenerative anaemia with a packed-cell volume of 7 per cent was seen. Prior to referral, radiography had revealed a gastric, metallic foreign body which was removed at exploratory laparotomy. On presentation, the dog was comatose, hypothermic and bradycardic – resuscitation was performed successfully, but the dog then displayed marked abdominal pain. The dog died 12 hours after presentation. At postmortem examination, the animal showed severe icterus. Both kidneys were diffusely dark red; the pancreas was diffusely pale and nodular. Histopathological examination revealed evidence of intravascular haemolysis with blood vessel lumens containing haemoglobin. The renal tubules also contained large amounts of intraluminal haemoglobin with haemoglobin crystals scattered throughout the cortex and medulla. The pancreas exhibited multifocal coagulative necrosis, surrounded by a neutrophil-dominated inflammatory infiltrate. Zinc levels were markedly increased above the normal reference range in both liver and kidney. This report describes the clinical and pathological findings of a case of acute zinc toxicity in a dog following ingestion of a metallic object which resulted in marked haemolytic anaemia and acute pancreatitis.

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