Pet owners giving animals bottled water over GenX concerns


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — As many people are no longer drinking tap water because of GenX, many pet owners are also not giving it to their animals.

When April Humphrey first heard about GenX in the Cape Fear River a couple of weeks ago, she was not just concerned about her drinking water.

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“I’ve pretty much worked in medicine most of my life, so I just went, ‘Wow. We can’t drink it. Why would we even think that our animals could?'” Humphrey said.

She is not the only one concerned about her pet. Several area veterinarians said they have gotten questions from concerned patients.

Veterinarian Salina Locke at VCA Wrightsville Beach Animal Hospital said she does not know much about GenX, but she has seen studies done about a similar compound and how it affects animals.

“I do know in lab animals with high doses of the compound that’s very similar to the GenX chemical, there was an increase in cancerous growths of the kidney the reproductive tracts, liver,” Locke said.

Locke said they do not know what it does long term.

“The research studies have been at high doses and for short term,” Locke said.

Locke said she has not had any inquiries about GenX from her patients yet, but this is what she would tell anyone who is concerned.

“I would say to give their dog bottled water or invest in one of the filtration systems like reverse osmosis,” Locke said.

It may just be a precaution, but for Humphrey, it is being safe instead of sorry.

“We do not know the outcomes and since our animals are like our children, I hope we’re doing it for our children and I hope we’re doing it for our animals as well as our selves,” Humphrey said. “You know, be smart. Don’t be sorry.”

Most of the veterinarians we spoke to today did not know much about GenX. They did recommend bottled water to any pet owners who do have concerns. One veterinarian said to be careful with distilled water, because it could lead to mineral deficiencies.