Flea products containing permethrin are highly toxic to cats.
Products for dogs such as Advantix spot on for fleas and ticks and Permoxin, a spray, contain permethrin. Do NOT ever apply them to cats.
Cats which groom or sleep with dogs treated with these products in the previous 48 hours can be poisoned also.
Signs of toxicity include: tremors, twitching, drooling, incoordination, convulsions, coma and death. Some cats flick their paws, twitch their ears, or are sensitive to touch or sound. Vomiting and diarrhoea are also common.
Signs start within 1 to 3 hours of ingestion or application but can be delayed up to 12 hours. Effects can last more than 3 days.
More than 500 cases of permethrin poisoning have been reported in Australia. A quarter of these cats died despite treatment.
Dogs love the taste of most rat and mouse poisons so keep them well out of reach of pets. Do not allow pets near areas where you have laid rat bait.
Most rat and mouse baits contain a form of warfarin. Warfarin stops the blood clotting. Owners often don’t notice signs of rat bait ingestion for a couple of days.
If you know your pet has consumed a rat bait come straight to the Veterinary Surgery. An emetic will make your pet vomit up the bait and minimise absorption of the poison.
Signs of warfarin poisoning:
- Pale gums
- Lethargy or resting more than usual
- Blood in urine
- Blood on faeces
- Blood around teeth and mouth
- Bruises on belly
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore joints, reluctance to walk
A special form of Vitamin K reverses the toxic effects of rat bait. Because we are never sure how much poison your pet has consumed it is difficult to know how much Vitamin K should be given and for how long. We will ask you to watch for signs that more is needed.
After the Vitamin K is finished return to the Surgery for a blood test to check that the blood’s clotting ability is back to normal.
Miss Lucy found a snake this morning. After all the rain there is plenty of long grass for snakes to slither through. Jack Russells are notorious snake killers so snake envenomation was top of our list this morning when Lucy came in wobbly and shivery. Although Lucy lives in the suburbs snakes feel quite at home in our sprawling city. They wander in to our yards from nearby paths and paddocks in the warm weather surprisingly often. Usually we don’t notice them. It is only when a dog like Lucy finds them that we even know they are there. Keep your grass cut and your dogs on leads when out walking so that they don’t end up in hospital like Lucy.
PS Lucy has had a dose of snake antivenom and is recovering well!
Snakes are up and about again after their long sleep. Binka is in hospital on a drip after a close encounter of the reptilian kind. She has been paralysed for 2 days. Today she lifted her head and meowed a greeting when her owner came to visit. We hope she will be home by the weekend but her carers will be restricting her outdoor activities this summer.