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Albuquerque VetCo

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Will Tylenol Kill Your Cat?

Tylenol is one of the most commonly used pain killers. It is also a killer to your cat. The primary ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen which is toxic to cats, even in small dosages.

Many people think that if their cat is in pain due to arthritis, surgery, or an injury that a little bit of Tylenol in their food can help take the edge off. But cats can have toxic poisoning with as little as 10 mg per body weight.

But you giving acetaminophen to your pet is not the only way he may ingest it. Pets can break into your medicine cabinet and chew through medicine bottles because they seem like fun to chew on. If you leave your medication out on the counter, you cat may get into it because she starts to bat it around. Though dogs are able to excrete acetaminophen from their body, cats cannot. Acetaminophen causes a breakdown of blood cells which causes Heinz anemia and death.

Cats are 7 to 10 times more susceptible to acetaminophen toxicity than dogs.

Signs and symptoms of Tylenol poisoning

Make sure you know the signs and symptoms of acetaminophen toxicity.

  • Brownish-gray colored gums
  • Brown urine
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swollen Face, neck and paws
  • Abnormally low body temperature (Hypothermia)
  • Vomiting
  • Decrease appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Jaundice- yellowish color to their skin and/or whites of their eyes
  • Coma

Treatment

If your cat has Tylenol toxicity it needs to be treated as an emergency situation and you need to go to the vet immediately. Treatment includes oxygen to assist breathing, IV fluids, IV medication to counter act the toxicity and alleviate symptoms.

Never self diagnose your pets when it comes to their medical treatment. There are pet safe medications, make sure you talk to your vet so you know what is safe to give to your pet.