In wake of Japan tragedy, pet owners cautioned against giving potassium iodide to animals

Mar 18, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Pet owners anticipating the possible movement to the West Coast of radioactive material from Japan’s damaged nuclear power plants should not give their dogs, cats or other pets potassium iodide tablets, cautions a UC Davis veterinary cancer researcher.

"At this point there is no risk to pets in California stemming from radiation released from the tragedy that continues to unfold in ," said Michael Kent, a faculty veterinarian who specializes in radiation cancer therapy.

He noted that UC Davis’ William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital has been receiving dozens of phone calls daily this week from concerned about possible radiation health risks to their pets.

“While might help protect dogs, cats and other pets, as it would people, from the risks of radiation exposure in the unlikely event that radioactive iodine reaches here in appreciable levels, giving it ahead of time carries risks and would be ill advised,” Kent said.

He cautioned that side effects for pets taking potassium iodide — especially if they consume too much — include severe allergic reactions; gastrointestinal upsets including vomiting, diarrhea and anorexia; decreased normal thyroid function; and damage to the heart. At high enough levels, potassium iodide can even cause death.

His recommendations mirror a March 15 public advisory from the California Department of Public Health, which warned Californians to not take potassium iodide as a precautionary measure: www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/Default.aspx

Explore further: The environment may change, but the microbiome of queen bees does not

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Enormous' run on iodine pills in US: drug firm

Mar 16, 2011

The main US manufacturer of potassium iodide tablets has run out of stock after a massive demand generated by the Japanese nuclear crisis, the company's head said Wednesday.

BUSM researchers encourage use of potassium iodide

Feb 25, 2009

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) are strongly encouraging prenatal vitamin manufacturers to use only potassium iodide and not other sources of iodine in their products. According to the researchers, ...

Researcher reveals the truth about cats and dogs

Mar 02, 2007

Ask most pet owners, and they will tell you they love their pets. So why is it that every year in Australia around 400,000 cats and dogs are surrendered to animal shelters or pounds?

Fears of health risks rise amid Japan crisis

Mar 15, 2011

(AP) -- Fears about health risks rose dramatically in Japan Tuesday with news of a greater radiation release and renewed warnings to remaining residents within 20 miles to stay indoors.

Experts: Radiation not a concern for West Coast

Mar 18, 2011

(AP) -- Government experts are keeping a close eye on any radioactive particles that could travel from Japan to the West Coast, but insist there's no threat to public health.

Pets must be protected from bird flu

Mar 13, 2006

Purdue University veterinarians say pet owners can combat animal diseases such as bird flu with cleanliness and educated observation.

Recommended for you

How animals survive Norwegian winter nights

8 hours ago

Norwegian mammals and birds have many different methods of surviving long, intense winter nights. A biologist from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) University Museum reveals their ...

China's latest survey finds increase in wild giant pandas

Feb 28, 2015

(AP)—Wild giant pandas in China are doing well. According to a census by China's State Forestry Administration, the panda population has grown by 268 to a total of 1,864 since the last survey ending in ...

A molecular compass for bird navigation

Feb 27, 2015

Each year, the Arctic Tern travels over 40,000 miles, migrating nearly from pole to pole and back again. Other birds make similar (though shorter) journeys in search of warmer climes. How do these birds manage ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

freethinking
1 / 5 (1) Mar 18, 2011
How many stupid people are there? Wait, this is for people who live in California. AHHHH now I get it, California is a liberal state.....liberal and thinking dont generally go together :)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.