Panado poisoning in cats | Cats and Paracetamol
- by DR Roxanne Jones
Our cats are our cutest little furball friends. We play with them, love them to bits and think of them as our companions. So it’s understandable that if we think they’re experiencing pain or discomfort, we want to do anything we can to help them.
That’s why the idea of administering Panado (paracetamol) may spring to mind for certain pet owners. If it’s okay for us to use in our daily lives, then surely it’s safe for our furbabies too? Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, Panado and other drugs containing paracetamol are highly toxic to cats and can be deadly to your feline.
Paracetamol: a toxic drug for cats
Panado in any form or at any dose is a massive no-no for cats. Even a small amount of paracetamol is toxic to a cat and can lead to devastating (and fatal) side effects.
Cats don’t have the enzyme necessary to break down and eliminate paracetamol from their bodies, so it just remains inside their bodies and steadily poisons them.
Paracetamol poisoning causes a cat’s liver to fail, and without prompt and proper medical care and the correct antidote, paracetamol poisoning will lead to the death of your beloved furbaby.
Can paracetamol poisoning be treated?
Yes - fortunately, this type of poisoning is treatable if caught in time. The sooner you get your cat to your vet after ingestion, the better the chance that your kitty will survive.
Clinical symptoms of paracetamol poisoning include:
- Not eating
- Change in gum colour (a blue-ish tinge)
- Your cat becoming very sick very quickly
Here’s what to expect at the vet if your cat is admitted for paracetamol poisoning:
- Get your kitty to the vet as quickly as you can
- Your cat will be admitted into hospital
- Kitty will be placed on a drip
- Antidote treatment will begin
- Your kitty will also be given supportive treatment
- Your vet may need to carry out blood tests
I know I can’t give Panado to my cat. What should I do if he is in pain?
The most important thing to remember is that when a cat is in pain, you should never administer any kind of human drugs to him. There is pain medication available specifically for cats, but drugs intended for humans or dogs must never be given to your cats.
If your cat is experiencing discomfort, speak to your vet. Specific medications are available for cats and these can be prescribed by your vet. Cats are very different to dogs (and people), and should never be treated as if they are just “little dogs”. Only ever give your cat pain medication prescribed by your vet specifically for your cat, and only for the specific length of time advised by your vet.
What if I can’t get to the vet right away?
If it’s clear that your kitty is suffering but you aren’t able to get medical attention immediately, you can place an ice pack on the area that seems to be affected. This, combined with keeping your kitty calm and resting, really does help to relieve pain and inflammation. Here’s how to make home-made ice-packs for your pets.
Of course, if the pain persists, it’s best to get your cat to the vet as soon as you can to get him the treatment he needs. Often, it’s not clear to us humans what is wrong with our pets, so even if there’s the slightest doubt in your mind, rather be safe than sorry, and take your fluff ball to the vet.
We hope your furbaby recovers quickly, and soon feels back to his old self!
Disclaimer: Always consult your vet for professional advice. The Zuki.co.za blog is provided as an educational tool and should not be used to diagnose illness or treat an animal.