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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1989 Jul 1;195(1):77-80.

Zinc-induced hemolytic anemia caused by ingestion of pennies by a pup.

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Department of Veterinary Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


A 4-month-old Pomeranian pup was examined because of anorexia, salivation, and persistent vomiting. Initial laboratory testing revealed marked hemolytic anemia with spherocytosis. Survey abdominal radiography revealed 4 metal objects which, when removed by gastrotomy, were identified as pennies. Of 4 pennies, 3 were minted since 1983 and were heavily pitted over the surface and rim. Partially digested pennies were composed of a copper-plated high zinc concentration alloy. Further laboratory testing indicated a marked increase in serum zinc concentration in the pup (28.8 mg/L), confirming metal toxicosis. Serum zinc concentrations decreased during recovery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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