New Hair Analysis Helps Diagnose Toxic Element Poisoning

A leading diagnostic lab has produced a new test to help veterinarians diagnose the hidden cause of some of the most common, yet deceptive, cases in veterinary medicine: toxic element accumulation.

Great Smokies VetScience, a division of Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory, a worldwide leader in functional testing, has just made available the Elemental Analysis, Hair—Toxic assessment for cats, dogs, and horses.

Studies confirm that a body burden of toxic elements can impair brain function and alter metabolic processes, causing dysfunction in animals' gastrointestinal, neurological, cardiovascular, and urological systems. Toxic elements can bio-concentrate in body tissues and cause such clinical signs as anemia, fatigue, loss of appetite, and kidney failure.

"Because they live closer to the ground and in less sanitary conditions, animals are more susceptible than humans to loading of toxic elements," said Great Smokies Vice-President Elemental Analysis, Bob L. Smith, one of the world's leading authorities on hair analysis. "Without a sophisticated test, diagnosis of toxic exposure can be difficult, because toxins affect so many organ systems. But our hair test can pinpoint element body burden of toxins."

Cats, dogs, and horses are all susceptible to toxic element storage. Most cats love fish -- which can contain mercury and other toxins. Dogs shampooed or treated with hair products may accumulate bismuth, cadmium, and nickel. Horses grazing near traffic may be exposed to arsenic, lead, mercury, and barium.

Using the Elemental Analysis, Hair - Toxic assessment, veterinarians can pinpoint levels of toxic elements, treat affected animals, and help owners reduce exposure of other animals.

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