Mercury’s often a concern for cat owners because so many cats eat diets heavy in fish.
And unless you feed your dog a lot of fish, you don’t probably worry about mercury poisoning from dog treats or food.
Even when tested, many dog foods containing fish show no detectable levels of mercury.
But do you give your dog fish-based treats? There’s good reason to believe you could be putting your dog at risk of mercury poisoning from fish.
Analysis Shows Mercury In Fish Treats
The “Health Ranger” Mike Adams, on his website naturalnews.com, has just come out with a report of unusually high mercury levels in Salmon Strips Dog Treats and Thinkers Pacific Salmon Dog Treats made by Plato Pet Treats.
CWC Labs analyzed Plato’s Salmon Strips treats. They showed mercury at over 120 ppb (parts per billion). Thinkers treats contained over 190 ppb.
Other Fish Treats Are Suspect Too
If these treats contain high levels of mercury, it’s likely that other fish treats do too, especially those made from fish skins. Toxins in fish accumulate in the skin and fatty tissue under the skin (that’s why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends removing the skin and fat from fish before eating it).
Many manufacturers of fish treats for dogs don’t even mention the possibility of mercury in their treats. Instead they brag about their treats being a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Plato does at least provide assurances on their website that the mercury levels in their treats are within the safe limits established by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Plato’s states that the FDA has determined 1,000 ppb to be a safe level of mercury for human food. And AAFCO has set a limit of 2,000 ppb for animals.
Any Level Of Mercury Is Risky
But the fact is that mercury is toxic even at very low levels. Patricia Jordan DVM is a holistic veterinarian who’s done a lot of research on heavy metals in pets. Dr Jordan says,
There is no safe level of mercury in the body; it’s like being a little bit pregnant. Even a minuscule amount of mercury causes cellular damage and harm to the DNA, as it can breach the mitochondria.
Mercury Toxicity Leads To Mercury Poisoning
Mercury toxicity can build up in the brain, kidneys and muscle. It can cause health issues like:
- Endocrine imbalance issues
- Hypothyroidism or autoimmune thyroiditis
- Chronic inflammation, which can lead to diseases like cancer, autoimmune disease and metabolic disease
- Accelerated aging as it removes the glutathione pathway
- Liver damage as the liver attempts to detox heavy metals from the body
- Candida (yeast)
- Leaky gut syndrome, affecting immune function
Veterinarian Peter Dobias DVM, who conducts hair testing on dogs for heavy metals, has seen high mercury levels in dogs on fish diets. He has also observed that there seems to be a link between high mercury levels and epilepsy in some dogs.
Symptoms Of Mercury Toxicity
There’s a long list of mercury poisoning symptoms. Here are just a few of them:
- Muscle weakness
- Abnormal behavior
- Intestinal disorders
- Leaky gut symptoms
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Skin inflammation, burning or itching
- Low thyroid hormone levels
What You Can Do
- Contact the manufacturer and find out if their fish ingredients have been tested for mercury and other heavy metals. If not, avoid that brand.
- Feed only occasional and small amounts.
- If you notice any of the above symptoms, contact your holistic vet immediately.
Mercury Poisoning Treatment
The best way to get mercury out of your dog is to help him detoxify. Your holistic vet can guide you through the best way to detox your dog.
To start the detox process, Dr Patricia Jordan recommends feeding a few tablespoons of bone broth daily, plus inner leaf fillet of aloe (15 to 20 cc per day for a 60 lb dog). This combination is a great way to start cleansing your dog’s GI tract and healing leaky gut.