Warning: Eating a Single Penny Can Be Fatal for Dogs

Did you know that any penny minted after 1982 can make a dog ill or even cause death? That’s because these coins have a zinc core.

“The stomach acid eventually digests the penny and releases the zinc into the system,” veterinarian Dr. Jenna Ashton said.

Ashton says that causes red blood cell destruction, leading to kidney and liver damage.

“They die from lack of oxygen,” Ashton said.

This sad fate befell Sierra, a lovely West Highland white terrier who belonged to Maryann Goldstein, of Denver, Colorado. Maryann hopes that her tragedy will serve as a cautionary tale for other dog owners. According to Dr. Ashton, some of the warning signs of zinc poisoning are pale gums, lethargy and vomiting. If you recognize these symptoms, time is of the essence, and you should rush your dog to the vet.

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