Cat Tylenol Poisoning
Cat Tylenol Poisoning
The active ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen, and poisoning happens when pet owners choose to dose their cats themselves. It is primarily given to treat aches and pains in humans.
Additionally, it is not as effective in treating aches and pains in cats as it is in humans. In fact, cats are more sensitive to acetaminophen than dogs are and therefore are also more susceptible to Tylenol poisoning, aka acetaminophen toxicity. One regular strength acetaminophen tablet is toxic and potentially lethal to a cat!
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Tylenol Poisoning
If a cat has been given Tylenol, or perhaps ate it from dropped pills by the owner, there are symptoms to watch for. There are three different stages of toxicity, which depend on when the cat consumed the Tylenol, though sometimes the owner may not know the time frame.
During the first stage (0-12 hours) after ingesting the symptoms will include Cat Vomiting, difficulty breathing, Cat Lethargy, Cat Anorexia, overall weakness, development of brown-colored gums and Cat Drooling.
During the next 12 hours a cat may have swelling of the face, lips and limbs, uncoordinated movements, convulsions, coma and may even die during this time period.
If it has been more than 24 hours, then the symptoms will be associated with Cat Liver Disease and possibly liver failure, as well as Cat Swollen Abdomen, jaundice (yellow tinge to gums, eyes and skin) and an uncoordinated state of mind.
If any of these symptoms occur after your cat has ingested acetaminophen or Tylenol, it is an extreme emergency, and you should rush your cat to the veterinarian immediately. It truly is a matter of life and death and the sooner that your dog is treated, the better the survival rate.
If you are aware that your cat consumed Tylenol, it is crucial to relay this information to your veterinarian. The veterinarian will likely examine the levels of acetaminophen in blood, but this can take some time to get the results back.
Treatment of Tylenol Poisoning
Your cat will need to be hospitalized with intravenous fluids consistently given with activated charcoal to help absorb the Tylenol before it gets into the bloodstream. Depending on the amount of Tylenol your cat was exposed to or if she is having difficulty breathing, oxygen therapy is given to help make certain your cat is getting enough.
Additionally, Vitamin C can help the body to eliminate the Tylenol faster. Tagamet may also be given, which helps to protect your cat from liver damage. Lastly, if the poisoning is extremely severe, the veterinarian may order blood transfusions.
Home Care and Prognosis
After your cat has spent several days in the hospital and she responds well to treatment, the veterinarian will release her back into your care with instructions for home care. These generally include continuing the drugs administered by the doctor for a specified number of days.
Tylenol poisoning can cause liver damage that is irreversible, which means your cat may have to be on a special diet for the rest of its life.
Prevention of Tylenol Poisoning
Never give a cat Tylenol unless prescribed by a veterinarian, which is highly uncommon. Additionally, make sure all medications are safely away from cat’s reach, as some cats will eat anything, even if it tastes terrible.
Owners many times believe what is appropriate for them is also suitable for their cats, but this is simply untrue. It is best to never self-medicate a cat with medications intended for humans and always follow the strict advice of a licensed veterinarian when administering veterinary medications.