By: Wendy Simpson DVM
Tylenol in cats is often deadly. It causes liver and blood toxicity. Clinical signs are vomiting, anorexia, salivation, increased heart and respiration rate, swelling in the face and legs, depression and death. Just a very small dose can be lethal in cats so if you suspect that your cat may have ingested any pills or liquid Tylenol, call us or an emergency clinic immediately.
True lilies are highly toxic to the kidneys causing acute death of kidney cells and ultimately kidney failure. Easter lilies, tiger lilies, Asiatic hybrid lilies and daylilies are all true lilies and therefore, deadly to cats. Calla lilies and peace lilies are not true lilies and ingestion of these causes mild gastrointestinal upset. Lily of the valley plants affect the heart.
It may be tempting to try and administer an enema to your cat when he/she is constipated. Fleet enemas that are often used for children contain sodium phosphate and biphosphate that causes a rapid shift in the body’s electrolytes that leads to dehydration in the brain within an hour of administration. These cats can develop neurological signs such as a wobbly gait, seizures, and lethargy and muscle tremors and heart arrhythmias. Leave the enemas to us!
In 2002, a substance called bismuth subsalicylate was added to Kaopectate. Prior to this, Kaopectate was used in cats. However bismuth subsalicylate is toxic to cats and ingestion of this product can be lethal. Clinical signs of toxicity include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the stool or vomit and abdominal pain.
Most antifreeze formulations in use today contain ethylene glycol as the principal ingredient. The sweet smell of ethylene glycol attracts animals, but it is deadly if ingested even in small amounts. As little as half a teaspoon of spilled antifreeze can kill an average-sized cat. Unless you catch it early, it can cause irreversible damage the kidneys. Clinical signs of toxicity include a drunken appearance within one hour of exposure, difficulty breathing and lethargy and then within 12 – 24 hours after ingestion, their kidneys will stop working and they stop eating, start vomiting, stop urinating, become depressed and eventually die.