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Insecticide Toxicity in Cats



Depending on how long it has been since your cat ingested the toxin (if exposure was via ingestion), you veterinarian may induce vomiting for your pet. Your doctor may also wash out it’s stomach with a tube (lavage), and then give it activated charcoal to detoxify and neutralize any remaining insecticide. Antidotal treatments specific to the toxin will also be given to your pet. Further treatment may include an oxygen cage if your pet is having trouble breathing, and fluid therapy if your pet has been unable to drink or is anorexic.


Cats suffering from seizures will be given anti-seizure medication to stop the seizures. If exposure to the toxin came through the skin, your veterinarian will use specialized wash for removing the residue from the hair and skin of your pet.


Living and Management


The sooner your cat is treated after being exposed to organophosphate or carbamate insecticides, the better the prognosis is. Organophosphate toxicity in cats may last two to four weeks, but most patients will fully recover with the aid of aggressive care. Avoid using insecticides -- flea or tick treatments -- on sick or debilitated cats, as it will affect the body more easily because of the weakened immune system.


If your cat needs to be treated for pests while it is recovering, or if it is sick for any other reason, ask your veterinarian to recommend some alternatives to chemical treatments. Organophosphates and carbamates both inhibit cholinesterases enzymes; giving both at the same time is likely a toxic dose of insecticide.


And as always, read the instructions on the insecticide labels before using them.

Image: Komar via Shutterstock


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