Cat Aspirin Poisoning
Veterinarian Reviewed on April 1, 2014 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Cat Aspirin Poisoning (Feline Aspirin Toxicity, Prevention and Treatment)
As they are very curious creatures, some cats will literally eat anything that peaks their curiosity. This includes medications that you may leave on a counter or table. While we don’t consider our cats to be at risk for taking aspirin or ibuprofen, the reality is that they can be. A childproof container does not generally deter the playful antics of a determined cat or kitten. Make sure that your cat does not have access to medications that are meant for human consumption only.
What is Aspirin Toxicity?
Toxicity is nothing more than poisoning. It is a poisoning that actually causes symptoms or damage to the body of your cat. Aspirin toxicity offers certain symptoms and will damage your cat in various ways, depending on her size and the type of Cat Breeds she is. In many cases, aspirin toxicity is also what takes place when your cat gets access to a bottle of aspirin that was stored improperly or administered either by mistake or by a well meaning cat owner.
Cats are more susceptible to the effects of aspirin and salicylates than dogs are because they are not as readily able to metabolize the aspirin. Toxicity from aspirin can cause stomach problems, problems with breathing, neurological issues, as well as bleeding, Cat Kidney Disease and even death. The issue will most often be a depression of a cat’s central nervous system.
Symptoms of Aspirin Toxicity
If you have reason to believe that your cat has ingested aspirin in any amount there are certain symptoms that you can watch for to determine if your suspicions are correct. Some cats will present with these symptoms more rapidly than others while some cats may take as long as a few days to give you any symptoms at all.
The most often seen symptoms to look for:
- Cat Loss of Appetite
- Pain in the abdominal area, as well as Cat Swollen Abdomen
- Cat Vomiting and/or nausea
- Lack of movement or Cat Lethargy
- Blackened stools that resemble tar, which indicate bleeding
Aspirin toxicity can lead to other problems such as ulceration of the stomach. If left untreated this may lead to a perforation that is life threatening to your cat. In addition, aspirin toxicity can also cause depression of the central nervous system that may cause breathing problems.
Supportive treatment will be necessary for your cat in many cases if she has ingested a higher dose of aspirin. Your vet can offer you the right treatment and help you to determine if your cat is a victim of aspirin toxicity, although some other medications can also offer the same symptoms if they were swallowed. If left untreated your cat’s aspirin toxicity will lead to permanent damage to her internal organs and systems or even to death.
Any time you have reason to suspect that your cat has swallowed aspirin or another type of NSAID (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) you should seek out the help and advice of your veterinary professional. Levels of aspirin or other NSAID drugs are much lower to cause toxicity in your pet. Never administer aspirin or ibuprofen to your cat without the advice and assistance of your veterinarian first.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan