Common Dog Medicine Proves Poisonous to Cats
Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) After noticing a tick on her 1 year-old cat, Cedric, Carrie Gillaspie did what any concerned pet mom would do and promptly applied tick medication to prevent future problems.
By the next morning, Cedric was shaking uncontrollably and unable to walk.
Gillaspie called the vet and within 30 seconds was speeding to take the cat to Wildwood Animal Hospital, where he was promptly hooked up to an IV. The vet delivered the shocking news: the tick medication had poisoned him.
“Ced is my first kitty since I was a little girl, so I didn’t have any kitty flea and tick medication, but I did have some extra of [dogs] Gatsby and Lyla’s,” Gillaspie said. “I thought, innocently, I’ll use the dog stuff and just use smaller dose. It’s gotta be nearly the same, right?”
It turned out it wasn’t. In fact, the main ingredient in the dog’s version of the medication is lethal to cats.
Cedric spent most of the day at Wildwood Animal Hospital but remained in critical condition. Needing around-the-clock care, he was referred to Paw Health Network in Mosinee.
“I left the vet in tears with Ced in the back being worked on,” Gillaspie said. “A few hours later I got a call from the vet saying they had given him all the medication they could, and now it was up to Ced to fight through.”
She left Cedric to spend the night in ICU, devastated that she had caused his decline. The pair had quickly bonded since she adopted him as a farm cat this spring.
“He was initially a little scared but he warmed up to me quick,” Gillaspie said. “He would follow me around the farm like a puppy, jump up into my arms, meow at me for love and attention. He is just the friendliest cat I had ever met.”
After getting him fixed, Gillaspie decided he was too special to just be a farm cat and soon started buying him his own food and water dishes, letting him have time in the house and sleep in the garage.
As it happened, Cedric was special in more ways than one. In the morning, Gillaspie received a call that around midnight the cat’s health had turned around for the better and that he was eating a lot and wanting attention — a sure sign he was getting back to normal.
“They were amazed at his comeback and were calling him a miracle kitty,” she said. “He’s now back home and back to his perky self running the farm.”
After going through the stress and expense of the ordeal, Gillaspie isn’t shying away from telling others her story and using it as a lesson to pet owners if it means preventing the same thing from happening to others.
“It’s crazy to me that he was so close to death just a few days ago!” she said. “NEVER assume you can cross use products on different animals! In this case, the same ingredient that helps dogs is lethal to cats.”
Cedric is now mostly recovered from last week’s incident and takes medication to make sure the poison is completely flushed from his system.
“Ced is now pretty much completely back to normal,” she said.