Monday, March 21, 2011

Medications Top List of Most Common Cat poisons

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, a 24/7 animal poison control center, the most common causes of poisoning in cats are:
1) Human and veterinary medicines (40%)
The problem is often with misuse/failure to follow instructions/not reading labels, in my experience. And then there was the cat I saw years ago whose owner almost killed it with cyanide poisoning from laetrile. Coma resulted in the cat's blindness, deafness, and inability to relate to its environment or even eat/drink, so we had to euthanize. All because the cat's owner wouldn't let me amputate the leg to cure its cancer, and decided that mumbo jumbo was better.
2) Poisonous plants (14%)
Lilies, of course, come to mind this time of year - ALL lilies are deadly poison to cats and can destroy their kidneys even in small doses - don't decorate with Easter lilies or any other kind.
3) Insecticides (9%)
I have seen numerous poisonings due to use (correct or incorrect, BTW) of OTC flea control products - some are intended for use in cats but are simply obsolete due to safety/effectiveness issues, and some are intended for use in dogs but for whatever reason pet owners think they can disregard this and use on cats. I have NEVER seen toxicity of any kind with proper use of Advantage, Frontline, or Revolution.
4) Household cleaners (6%)
Most household cleaning compounds are unnecessary in my opinion. I make my own cleaning concoctions such as laundry pre-spot, all-purpose cleaner, soap for handwashing delicates, and all manner of baking soda/lemon juice/vinegar combos for kitchen use, and only rarely use bleach or ammonia. I don't want these things in my home where they can spill or leak and get on kitty paws, and toxic residues can be left on surfaces. Someday I should do a blog post with my recipes for cat-safe cleaners!
5) Other poisons (31%)
One memorable poisoning I saw several years ago was the poor cat who tried to drink the liquid simmering potpourri liquid stuff, which is chemically like concentrated detergent. Poor thing had caustic burns in her mouth, which did heal, but it was a painful and expensive lesson for the owner.