Lead toxicosis in the horse: A review

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5 Scopus citations


Lead intoxication is rarely diagnosed in horses and can present a major challenge to the equine practitioner because of the variety of clinical signs. Horses with lead poisoning can develop gastrointestinal disturbances, neurological abnormalities, haematological changes, or nonspecific signs of weight loss, weakness and rough hair coat, which makes early diagnosis difficult. Fortunately, lead analysis of whole blood is routinely available and can confirm intoxication. Because of the well-described lead-induced peripheral neuropathies in horses, a thorough neurological examination is essential in the investigation of a suspect case. Once diagnosed, the source of lead has to be identified and further exposure prevented. Intoxication can be treated by administering chelating drugs and providing symptomatic and supportive care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-530
Number of pages5
JournalEquine Veterinary Education
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Ataxia
  • Horse
  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Lead poisoning
  • Pathogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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