Toxic heavy metals are virtually everywhere. In fact, many of the everyday products most people use and think are safe, actually contain a lot of toxins. Even something like tap water where we've been led to believe it is "safe" to consume, chemicals such as chloride, fluoride, etc. actually means that constant exposure to chemicals can over time build to such a level of toxicity in the body that the body can no longer cope with or eliminate the toxins. It’s critical to know the truth about toxic heavy metals and how to eliminate them from your pet’s body in order to recover from chronic symptoms and suffering. Sadly, more often than not, early signs of heavy metal poisoning in cats and dogs are completely overlooked as the acute symptoms are general to many illnesses found in pets. Also, unfortunately, most vets are not educated to consider heavy metal exposure as a cause for a pet's illness. Thereby leading to a pet's long-term exposure by which point it's often too late for the individual pet. Heavy metal toxicity affects pets of all ages from new born puppies to older dog as heavy metals are passed down the bloodline through the liver.
Toxic heavy metals alone or toxic heavy metals in combination with a virus cause a plethora of chronic illnesses, symptoms, and conditions. Anything from allergies, skin disorders, gut, arthritis, yeast, neurological disorders such as seizures and more serious diseases such as cancer.
Did you know that heavy metal feeds yeast? Yeast is a very common ailment amongst dogs. To find out more on yeast and how to heal yeast infections in your pet, read our Yeast fact sheet.
Heavy metals accumulate in different areas of different organs. The two most popular places that they gather are the brain and the liver.
Toxic heavy metals carry a disruptive charge that interferes with the electricity that travels through your brain. Neurotransmitter chemicals are meant to use the electrical neural highway there to carry information and life force to every cell in your brain. When toxic heavy metals such as mercury and aluminum are present, electrical impulses weaken as they hit these deposits. Electrical activity becomes diffused, and that leads to a host of symptoms and conditions that can develop over a lifetime. When they’re present anywhere in the body, they lower overall immunity and act as fuel for viruses and bacteria.
It’s not only the heavy metal deposits themselves that can be a problem. Toxic heavy metals also oxidise (picture rusting metal), releasing a discharge of heavy metal by-product, which can travel to adjacent brain cells and affect more neurons, causing additional or worsened symptoms throughout the years. Heavy metals also interact with each other, becoming something more troublesome than what they already are when they stand alone. For example, when mercury and aluminum cross paths and touch each other, a highly toxic reaction occurs and they can both oxidise more rapidly. The result is a discharge causing neurological symptoms.
Top 6 Most Common Heavy Metal Toxins:
This is not an all-inclusive list as it doesn't include environmental possibilities. However, the top most poisonous heavy metals that pets are exposed to on a daily basis, and examples of where or how your pet may become exposed to them in the short or long term are as follows:
- Lead - plumbing, paint, glazes, pigments, plastic bottle, can be found in pet's drinking water, leakage from your pet's plastic or metal drinking bowl, jerky treats (make sure you give your dog high quality treats from a boutique manufacturer that use only human grade ingredients), literally 1000's of pet's toys such as catnip toys, bells, furry toys, etc. Most pet toys unless they are eco-friendly contain 4 out of these 6 top heavy metal poisons. From investigations carried out on over 400 popular pet products 45%, nigh on half of all the products tested had "alarming levels of lead or other toxic chemicals".
- Arsenic – fungicides – pesticides. Can be found in common pet products such as over-the-counter flea treatments and flea collars and treats such as rawhide chews which contain 4 out of the 6 toxic poisonous metals listed here.
- Mercury - contaminated water and food products such as fish. Certain animal foods such as kibble can contain up to 4 of these 6 heavy metal poisons. Some of the more popular pet treats sold in both pet shops and veterinary practices contain high levels of mercury for pets. Make sure you give your pet high quality treats from a boutique manufacturer that use only human grade ingredients. Vaccines become much more toxic because glyphosate inhibits detoxification organs from eliminating these chemical toxins. This combination restricts the liver’s ability to activate vitamin D and therefore accounts for the broad-spectrum vitamin D deficiency we’re seeing.
- Aluminum - drinking water, vaccinations, aluminum foil and aluminum cans, pesticides. Many studies have linked the aluminum adjuvant in vaccines to the cancers that we see in the area of vaccination administration. The aluminum adjuvant found in our pet's vaccines is officially classified as a Grade 3 carcinogen. Also, aluminum is in pesticides that are used in flea treatments for pets.
- Cadmium - fertilisers, fungicides. Items such as plastic or metal water/feed bowls, flea treatments, your neighbours garden, or plant treatments. your local municipality's spraying of green areas.
- Chromium - found in foods such as grain products, soil, agricultural processes, water. Exposure is through cheaply produced grain sources found in most commercial pet food, contaminated drinking water from leaching or runoff of agricultural processes, many synthetic dietary supplements contain chromium.
Exposure to these poisons is mainly through diet (food/water), medications, vaccinations, and environmental toxins. Heavy metals tend to enter the body through either ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the skin, or a combination of all three.
All the exposure pathways can impact the body (liver) on both an acute or chronic level or long-term exposure can begin to present as acute symptoms. These very same chemicals have been linked to reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, liver toxicity, and cancer.
In acute cases, it can be easier to catch if a pet owner is aware of possible exposure for example sudden adverse health issues arising around the time of or after, a home renovation, remodel, etc.
Heavy metal toxicity effects 3 main areas in the body:
- The immune system, responsible for autoimmune disorders, allergies and cancers.
- The neurological system, heavy metals impact cognitive function such as an animal's ability to follow instructions, recalls, etc. their sensory ability in understanding their environment around them, and their ability to coordinate their movements.
- The endocrine system, which produces your pet's hormones that regulate a whole host of biological functions and are released by glands into the circulatory system. The endocrine system impacts everything from your pet's ability to sleep, to their moods such as anxiety, aggression, depression, metabolic functions, and reproductive ability.
Common symptoms of heavy metal toxicity - Symptoms will vary depending on the individual heavy metal, the level of exposure and the amount of time your pet has been exposed to the poison. If your dog or cat is constantly ill and you can't determine the cause, then start investigating your pet's exposure to heavy metals. Equally, if your pet has suddenly taken ill and you're baffled as to why begin investigating the possibility of heavy metal poisoning.
Some of the most common signs that your pet is suffering from heavy metal poisoning are the following:Acute Symptoms
- vomiting – diarrhoea – weakness – fatigue - sensory confusion - sudden behavioural changes outside your pet's norm - sleeping issues - weepy or irritated eyes.
- Cognitive issues
- Muscular-skeletal issues
- Mood alterations
- Loss of appetite
- Weight issues
- Bowel problems/ IBS
- Movement or coordination problems
- Damage to the organs such as the kidney and liver
- Damage to the nervous system
- Reproductive issues
- Heart abnormalities
- Respiratory issues
- Skin issues
There are simple things you can do to eliminate/minimise your pet's exposure to toxins. This will include everything from looking at the water you give your pet, bowls, food, household cleaning products, flea/tick/heart worm treatments, vaccine, shampoos, etc.
If you can, try to replace as many products in your home and in your pet's daily life with natural products. Look to use natural products such Baltic Amber necklace for natural flea/tick/heart worm treatment (see Dishy Dogs natural insect repellent). Washing your pet's bedding with bicarbonate soda and vinegar instead of using toxic chemically based store-bought washing powders and liquids as they are known carcinogens. Use glass/ceramic bowls instead of plastic or metal. Feed your pet raw food such as raw proteins, organ meats such as kidney and heart, vegetables such as leafy greens, fruits such as blueberries, apples, pears, bananas and melons, instead of processed food or kibble. In studies, commercial kibbles are known to contain high ppm levels of heavy metal poisons and exceed recommended RDAs by a substantial amount.
Removing toxic heavy metals - Toxic heavy metals do not just leave the body on their own, they have to be removed with the right combination of foods that grab onto them and draw them out of the body safely and effectively. It’s worth pulling out toxic heavy metals if we want to spare ourselves and our beloved pet’s the tumult and heartbreak of their long-term effect on their health.
To safely and effectively remove metals from your body, focus on giving your pet the five key foods below that work synergistically together. Ideally, you would give your pet the essential 5 foods every day for a minimum of three months. Six months to a year is best. A heavy metal detox is not just once off. After the initial detox, once to twice per year thereafter is ideal to keep your pet clean from heavy metals.
To make life easy for pet owners, Dishy Dogs has formulated Detox Pet which is a high potency detox formula containing all the 5 key foods. It is specifically designed to help us get these pernicious troublemakers out of our pet’s bodies.
- Wild blueberries/bilberries: Draw heavy metals out of the brain tissue, healing and repairing any gaps created by oxidation when the heavy metals are removed. The potent antioxidants in wild blueberries/bilberries help reverse any oxidative damage left behind by the heavy metal removal.
- Barley grass juice extract powder: Has the ability to draw heavy metals out of your spleen, intestinal tract, pancreas, thyroid, and reproductive system. Barley grass juice extract prepares mercury for complete absorption by spirulina.
- Spirulina: Draws out heavy metals from your brain, central nervous system, and liver, and soaks up heavy metals extracted by barley grass juice extract powder.
- Cilantro (coriander):Goes deep into hard-to-reach places, extracting metals from yesteryear.
- Atlantic dulse: Binds to mercury, lead, aluminum, copper, cadmium, and nickel. Atlantic dulse goes into deep, hidden places of the digestive tract and gut, seeking out mercury, binding to it, and never releasing it until it leaves the body.
To maximise your pet’s health, it is imperative to support your pet’s liver on a daily basis (see our Liver Rescue fact sheet). It is especially important whilst detoxing heavy metals from your pet. Herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion root, chaga mushroom, nettle and amla berry will help to support and protect the liver. Dishy Dogs Liver Pet is chock full of these amazing herbs.
Other supplements to include in your pet’s healing/prevention routine:
- zinc (as liquid zinc sulfate) to your pet’s food on a daily basis. Zinc is critical for liver health, autoimmune conditions, adrenal problems, arthritis, cancer, skin disorders, brain fog, diabetes, fatigue, heart palpitations, hepatitis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inflammation, SIBO, sinus infections, weight issues, vertigo, tinnitus, multiple sclerosis, lupus, lyme disease, thyroid problems, Epstein barr virus, shingles, UTIs, candida, and every other symptom and condition;
- selenium. In addition to decreasing oxidative stress, selenium may help lower the risk of certain cancers. This has been attributed to selenium’s ability to reduce DNA damage and oxidative stress, boost your immune system, and destroy cancer cells;
- herbs to support the removal of yeast, such as Dishy Dogs Yeast Pet, it chock full of olive leaf, cat’s claw etc. Read our fact sheet on Yeast.
- probiotic/prebiotic, use a high-quality probiotic such as Dishy Dogs Probiotic Pet as it contains prebiotics and Bacillus Coagulans which will support the removal of mercury and yeast by product;
- digestive enzymes. Use a high-quality digestive enzyme supplement such Dishy Dogs Digestit Pet as it contains enzymes that they can help quickly digest and eliminate dead yeast cells.
PLEASE NOTE: do NOT give your pet the following foods:
- apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is toxic to the liver;
- fermented vegetables are dead foods and the vinegar is harsh on the liver;
- raw or cooked liver. Whilst there are many vitamins and minerals in a healthy liver the truth is, the liver of all animals is loaded with toxins.
NEVER do a conventional liver detox as this will do more damage to the already damaged liver. Rather, support the liver to heal and do its job.
In case of severe or persistent symptoms, it is best to seek medical attention.
Dishy Dogs is certified “Australian Made and Owned”. Our ingredients are 100% human grade, 100% preservative, dairy, gluten, egg and additive free with no added salt, sugar, flavour or colour.