The clinical signs are very variable and will depending on the particular poison concerned.
Some of the most common signs include:
- Gastrointestinal signs (vomiting and diarrhoea)
- Neurological signs (tremors, incoordination, seizures, excitability, depression, or coma)
- Respiratory signs (coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing)
- Skin signs (inflammation, swelling)
- Liver failure (jaundice, vomiting)
- Kidney failure (increased drinking, loss of appetite and weight loss).
Some poisons act on more than one body system, and so can produce any combination of the above signs.
Paracetamol and cats
Paracetamol is often given to cats in a caring but misguided attempt to relieve pain. It is highly dangerous to cats and just one tablet is enough to cause severe illness or death.
Signs of paracetamol poisoning include:
- Swelling of the face and paws
- A bluish discolouration of the skin.
An effective antidote is available but must be used very soon after the cat has taken the tablet.
Anti-depressants and cats
In the USA, the most common medication reported to the *Pet Poison Helpline is antidepressant medication. When ingested, they can cause animals to become:
- Uncoordinated and agitated
- Or get tremors and seizures.
Ibuprofen and cats
Even one or two pills can cause serious harm to a pet. Cats may develop:
- Serious stomach and intestinal ulcers
- Kidney failure