OBJECTIVES: The present work is aimed at assessing the mercury contamination of dogs through the analysis of hair. For the determination of the total mercury in dogs, we chose skin derivatives--hair. The content of total mercury was also measured in the pelleted feed.
METHODS: Dogs were divided into two groups. The first group (group A) was fed granular feed containing fish and the second group (group B) granular feed free of fish. A total of 131 hair and granular feed samples were collected. The total mercury in hair and granular feed samples was measured using atomic absorption spectrophotometry on AMA 254.
RESULTS: The values of the total mercury content in the hair of dogs had a median value of 0.0375 mg.kg(-1) in group A and of 0.0336 mg.kg(-1) in group B. No statistically significant difference was found between the groups (p>0.05). The median values of the total mercury were 0.0048 mg.kg(-1) in group A and 0.0017 mg.kg(-1) in group B, respectively. A highly statistically significant difference between the groups was found (p<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: No correlation was obtained between the total mercury content in the hair of dogs and granulated feed (rs=0.2069, p>0.05). The reason may be a content of various mercury species in feed samples or a human failure (nonobservance of the prescribed diet)....