Radiation Fallout Fears Has Pet Owners Seeking Potassium Iodide

by Dr. Chris

March 20, 2011 With the nuclear plant situation in Japan still uncertain many pet owners are frantically trying to buy potassium iodide pills for their pets. Unfortunately at this time, most stores are sold out.

According to Vin.com, many veterinarians in the United States, especially on the West coast are receiving phone calls from pet owners seeking potassium iodide pills for their pets: Fearing Overseas Radiation Americans Seek Potassium Iodide for Pets.

What are the Effects of Nuclear Radiation on Pets?

The effects of nuclear radiation on pets is similar to what is observed in humans. In fact much of the early research on radiation poisoning effects were done with animals.

Signs of radiation sickness in pets are similar to people. Feelings of nausea, vomiting, reduced white blood cells, hair loss, nerve damage, GI problems, and problems fighting off infections.

Radiation affects rapidly growing cells first which accounts for most of the clinical signs seen.

Radiation Prevention

Potassium Iodide Tablets are used to help prevent radiation sickness. Potassium iodide tablets work by saturating the thyroid gland with iodine, thus preventing the thyroid gland from absorbing a larger amount of radiation.

Doctors don't recommend taking the tablets until radiation actually reaches your area, because in some cases, the tablets can cause adverse health effects.

More more information on internal treatments check out: Radiation Emergency Medical Management.

Potassium Iodide in Pets

According to many veterinarians at Vin.com, potassium iodide's ability to protect pets from radiation fallout is unproven.

Current use of potassium iodide in pets is to treat actinomycosis (lumpy jaw) and actinobacillosis (wooden tongue)

Related: Pet Owners Cautioned Against Giving Postassium Iodide to animals.

To read more blog posts go here: Veterinary Blog

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