Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
4 October 2000 Issue

Feline Health Alert: Liquid Potpourri May Be Hazardous to Your Cat
From ASPCA news-alert, [email protected]

Potpourri oil is used every day in homes across the country--but few pet owners are aware that this popular household fragrance can be dangerous to cats if ingested. "Most potpourri liquids contain natural or essential oils, which can cause vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, weakness and possibly liver damage," cautions Jill A. Richardson, DVM, of the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center. Some products can also burn the mouth and tongue. And should the liquid get in the cat's eyes or on the skin, the pain can be severe.

In most cases of potpourri toxicity treated through the NAPCC's 24-hour emergency hotline--1-888-4-ANI-HELP--cats were exposed by either rubbing against leaky bottles or pots containing the oil or by spilling it onto themselves. Instinctively, many cats tried to groom themselves, thereby ingesting the potpourri. "Fortunately," says Richardson, "with proper treatment and good supportive care--which may include veterinary-prescribed use of gastrointestinal protectants, antibiotics and pain killers--most cats recover within a few days."

The Center's licensed veterinarians and board-certified veterinary toxicologists have been available since 1978 to advise animal owners and confer with veterinarians.

For more information, visit:

Go on to Poem: If Only They Knew? by Colleen Ferro
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