Educational Articles

Cats + Emergency Situations

  • Telehealth is a broad term that refers to the use of telecommunications to provide health-related services. Telehealth services can be delivered by a variety of methods including telephone, text messaging, internet chat, and videoconferencing. Teletriage is the act of performing triage remotely, via telephone or internet and helps determine the urgency of your pet’s medical concern. Telemedicine refers to the practice of medicine at a distance. In the context of veterinary medicine, telemedicine refers to a veterinarian formulating a diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet without an in-person examination. Telemedicine is typically only permitted within the context of an existing Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic and social/physical distancing requirements however, some federal and local governments have relaxed the requirements surrounding telemedicine.

  • If a potentially toxic amount of CBD or THC is ingested by a dog, induction of vomiting followed by administration of activated charcoal may be dependent upon the formulation of the product in pets already showing signs and/or pets ingesting oil, lotion, or liquid formulation products. Inducing vomiting requires caution. Pets with moderate gastrointestinal signs of CBD poisoning are treated with anti-nausea and anti-diarrheal medications; hospitalization is not usually required.

  • Toad poisoning occurs when a cat is exposed to the toxins secreted by certain species of toads. The two most common species of toads that cause poisoning in the United States are the cane or marine toad and the Colorado River or Sonoran desert toad. While there are toads in Canada that secrete toxic substances, their effects are much less severe than the toxins secreted by the cane or Sonoran desert toads. Death can occur quickly and immediate treatment is required.

  • Vitamin D poisoning occurs when a cat ingests a toxic dose of vitamin D. A common source of vitamin D poisoning is when a cat accidentally ingests rodenticides containing vitamin D. The initial clinical signs of poisoning occur anywhere from 8 to 48 hours after ingestion and include depression, weakness, and appetite loss. Vomiting, increased drinking and urination, constipation, and dehydration typically follow these signs.

  • Vomiting may be caused by disorders of the stomach, but is a clinical sign that can occur with many diseases and problems. Different types of vomiting are reviewed. Any required tests are determined based on physical examination of your cat and questions regarding how your cat has been acting and feeling at home.

  • Pets and people need some zinc in their diets. However, too much zinc can cause serious health problems. The amount of zinc required to cause poisoning depends upon the pet’s size, the form of zinc ingested, and how much was ingested. Some forms of zinc are more readily absorbed than others.