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Cat has been poisoned


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Yesterday I found my cat staggering unable to balance and walk properly, I immediately took him to the vet who said he thought he had eaten poison.  They kept him in overnight and I was told the next day that he was much better and I could take him home.  On letting him out of his basket he was still unsteady on his feet, could  not jump up onto the table without falling off.  Does anyone know if it is normal to let a cat go home even if he is not better, and does anyone know how long it takes for the poison to leave the cats system.

Any information would be greatly received.


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Years ago, one of our two was poisoned - probably a dodgy mouse, knowing her.

She was close to death when some neighbours found her and brought her round to us. Straight down to the vet, left her with them and she pulled through. She was kept there for 4 or 5 days and was pretty weak for a further week or so after she came home.

This doesn't really answer your question, except that I guess it depends on the degree of poisoning. Ours was literally at death's door - yours may not have been quite that bad.  Maybe the vet felt that being at home was no worse (and probably better) than being kept there.

By the way, she's 19 now and still going fairly strong, so happily no lasting ill effects.  

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You should immediately get more help

Pets eat rat and mole poison very easily and lots of French people put poison down if you live here.  My dog ate rat poison and was treated at home with Vitamin K, which is the antidote to usual poison (apparently) but, in his case, we knew what he had eaten.  He took a week to get over it and it was touch and go as he was salivating a lot.  I took him back to the vet three times that week.

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Firstly, I have no idea about cats so my thoughts below are my own general observations of French vets rather than anything suggesting you should or should not return to your vet.

I have noticed that my own vet is far more "down to earth" than any vet I have every used in the UK.  UK vets seem to "protect" you from any of the aspects of treatment (other than the trivial injection type of thing).  Take in a pet requiring treatment and the animal is whisked away until you collect him or her later.  Thus, when I took my youngster in to my French vet to be neutered, I was a bit surprised when he came out to the waiting room and gave her the initial anaesthetic and left us sitting there as she "went under".  I did have to leave but collected her after my appointment when she was still partially unconscious.

Similarly, when she ripped her dew claw and after a week it had not healed, I returned to the vet who said he thought best thing was to remove it.  I said "yes" and "when ?" to which he said "now ?".  So we did the operation there and then.  Anaesthetic then move into the operating room and I hold her/assist whilst he starts operating, etc.  I was fine with this but it never occurred to him that I might be a bit squeamish (particularly with my own animal).  It was not the vet being inconsiderate and it did not bother me (in fact it was interesting).  It was just a different outlook, more "down to earth" (difficult to describe).

Both in France and UK vets have been rural and I'm sure your town/city vet treating only pets would be a bit different.

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In a previous life I had a small flat in building occupied largely by trainee French vets. There was a big difference between the town and country type. As Ian says, the country type who often dealt with so called 'big animals' was a pretty down to earth sort of chap. The townies were not in my opinion up to much as vets, were often girlies from successful small business backgrounds, very interested in the status of vet (which was second choice to medicine in many cases) and getting money out of old ladies to fix their poodles and moggies.[6]
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Louis, my first thought is whether your cat is eating and drinking eating and drinking? If he is, in your situation I'd probably keep an eye on him and if he doesn't improve overnight, I'd go back to the vet. If the cat won't eat or drink overnight - and will therefore become dehydrated - I'd take him back to the vet first thing in the morning. I know it will be difficult to be sure if he's drinking but perhaps you could put him in a quiet room with a bowl of water marked to show the level. Then you might get an idea.

Others may have a more informed opinion - this isn't (yet) something I've had to go through - though with 5 cats who do go out and plenty of farms and farm buildings in the vicinity sooner or later I suspect it will be something I have to deal with.

Good luck and hope he's much better tomorrow.

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Sorry, don't have experience of poisoning but have had an ill cat to deal with in the past.

So I would just like to add that, if you think your cat isn't drinking, then I suggest that, every hour or two, get a little water down him on a teaspoon, even if it's only a few drops. It's very important not to let your cat become dehydrated. It's more important than eating as, if he's not feeling well, he may not want to eat but must drink. Same with us humans really!

Then, if you're worried about her/him, go back to your vet.

Hope your cat recovers soon.

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Thanks for all your replies

Update on my cat, he is much better this morning, still a little bit unsteady on his feet but is eating and drinking.  I guess I just panicked yesterday as in all the years I have had cats I have never experienced one being poisoned before.

I agree with Ian about the difference between English and French vets.  In the UK the vets would have probably kept my cat in for a few days so I didn't have to see my cat in such a state but I know that he is a lot happier/calmer at home with me.

Again thank you all for caring

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Glad to hear your cat seems to be on the mend. I have never experienced this with a cat, but did once with a Border Collie I had.  Once he had spent 24 hours on a drip and had recovered a bit, my (UK) vet also let me take him home although he was by no means well at the time.  His own view then was that, as there was no more treatment he could give him, his chances of recovery were better if he could be in familiar surroundings.  Certainly, he did get better, and lived for many more years.
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  • 2 weeks later...

This may not be relevant to you but there is a breed of caterpillar here which inhabit pine trees and Oak trees… and other trees….  Each spring (very early) they take a walk from the tree.  They do this in a very long column… nose to tail (if they have either!!)…   Here is a photo of this process…

I am trying to figure how to send photos... hang tight I am a bit thick so may not manage it.

I have seen this in my garden and was amazed at the site.  If you remove the leader the column stops and will not move on.  Very interesting…  Now where are my magnifying glass and short trousers….? [:P]

If you look at the photo you will see how they appear.  The second photo shows the creature expelling from its back a secretion.  This travels up the spines and is introduced to the skin etc via the spines…

Many badly informed and not very good looking people will tell you the spines inject the poison… strictly speaking they do not…  An injection relies upon pressure but the poison here is coated onto the spines using capillary action… 

Anyway, It secretes the poison even if lightly touched with a finger,  a sharp stick, a banana,  a brick and a dog’s or cat’s tongue.  Even severed embarrassment will cause  it to push out the stuff… 

This secretion is highly poisonous and will seriously harm cats and dogs who for some reason will lick the creatures. Even humans who might lick them or touch them and then place the fingers in the mouth place, or onto an open wounding of flesh will suffer pain and reactions.  I have not heard of any human being killed with this poison.  If the poison gets on human skin it will cause moderate to severe irritation and can cause blisters.  If in contact with the eyes it will cause severe, although temporary irritation…  Kinda like Eastenders with their latest PC trip…. 

It certainly can and often does kill a dog (not always the same one as my dreadful grammar might suggest…)  … hence the nickname ‘Dog-maimer’…   “Why not dog killer”?  I ask myself  

let me just take another hit of that secretion and re-focus!!!   I was watching that bloke on TV who eats things in the woods and lights fires with bricks (maybe I should try sticks) and all that and copied him and eat (that's 'eight' by the way not eeeeet) some of these creatures… Hic!  Wibble!!![8-)]

Back to the soft beasts… I prefer to call them the Thaumetopoea processionea or Processionary caterpillar but they are also known as the Brown tail moth caterpillar or ‘that nasty stingy bast**d in the garden. [blink]

Is it possible your moggy licked one of these beasts?[:P]

On a more serious note these are very hard to spot, so avoid bare feet this time of year...

I hope that you find this info of use and that it will save the lives of many cats and dogs and owls.  If not, maybe you will find this post of use if you plan to lick any caterpillars in the near future.  It does sting but what a trip.... Better than magic mushrooms any day.....

My advice is do not lick anything you cannot identify (actually there is an exception to that rule….but that is another story…)






PS.. Your home may be at risk if you do not keep up your mortgage payments…. 


I am Spartacus… and I want to negotiate an unconditional surrender…  Take the salves and let me go.

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  • 1 month later...


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