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Cats and Permethrin Toxicity

Dymond NL, Swift IM. Permethrin toxicity in cats: a retrospective study of 20 cases. Aust Vet J. Jun 2008;86(6):219-223.

Researchers in Australia completed a retrospective study of 20 cases of permethrin toxicity in cats. The cats were presented to an emergency clinic in Brisbane, Australia from October 2004 to June 2005. Permethrin is present in many topical flea control products used for small animals. Cats are particularly susceptible to the toxic effects of permethrin, which occurs when cats are accidentally exposed to products made for use on dogs. The history of recent exposure plus typical clinical signs of permethrin poisoning including tremors, muscle fasciculations, and seizures were the primary means for diagnosis. Treatment included decontamination of the product and patient support with drug therapy to control muscle tremors and seizures. Researchers noted that rapid intervention lead to good outcomes of treatment in 19 of 20 cats. One kitten died when there was a 24-hour delay in treatment. All recovered cats were reported to have no complications when a 4-month follow-up was performed. Education of owners regarding the risks of permethrin use on cats plus clear, appropriate labeling of products to help decrease the number of future cases were the conclusions drawn by the study.
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Related articles:
Sutton NM, Bates N, Campbell A. Clinical effects and outcome of feline permethrin spot-on poisonings reported to the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS), London. J Feline Med Surg. Aug 2007;9(4):335-339.
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Linnett PJ. Permethrin toxicosis in cats. Aust Vet J. Jan-Feb 2008;86(1-2):32-35.
>> PubMed Abstract