Cat owner Maddie Smith from New Zealand recently shared a story on Facebook about her cat Ruby, who suddenly became ill then deteriorated rapidly in just 12 hours.
“We woke up on Wednesday morning to our darling Ruby walking really strangely and had her head in an odd position as she walked. We initially thought this was just because she was so cold so we got her nice and toasty and left for work as usual.”
“Wednesday afternoon Clayton arrived home from work and she had deteriorated dramatically so we rushed her to the vets. The vets were extremely concerned for her and could see she definitely had neurological problems because she simply could not walk properly, could not hear or see, couldn’t even eat or drink properly because she couldn’t function her tongue the best. Her basic senses and abilities GONE in 12 hours. She was so helpless,” Maddie wrote on Facebook.
As it turns out, poor Ruby had extremely high sodium levels in her blood, an indicator of salt poisoning, which can be life-threatening for dogs and cats. Maddie revealed that the family has a Himalayan Salt Lamp in their living room, and that Ruby had been regularly licking the lamp – resulting in the salt poisoning.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, salt poisoning can occur in dogs and cats at moderate to life-threatening levels and symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, incoordination, excessive thirst or urination, tremors, seizures, and coma. The site advises contacting your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet might be suffering from salt poisoning.
Luckily, Ruby the cat got treatment in time and is set to make a full recovery.
If you have things such as pot pants, salt lamps or ornaments made from other organic matter, it’s important to check that these things don’t pose a risk to your pet if ingested. And as Ruby’s story proves, even the most innocuous of household items could be the culprit of illness.