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Winter and Rock Salt

GreenWelcomeWe have been remiss in not keeping our animal blog up to date. As expected we know we have lost blog readers; but that’s ok, we will work on earning them back. To start, here is our post on the dangers of Rock Salt and our pets.

Each year many thousands of cats and dogs die or are made severely ill from the toxic effects of rock salt.

Local municipalities frequently use rock salt after heavy snow with sand or grit to improve traction. Householders may use it to help melt ice and snow on paths and make it easier to spade or sweep away.

Grey tabby cat sitting on post

Rock salt is very poisonous to cats and dogs. Unfortunately, they can easily ingest it when they lick their fur after being outdoors. The result can be fatal. According to the RSPCA:

It is difficult to say how much needs to be eaten for signs of toxicity to be seen. Even a small amount of pure salt can be very dangerous to pets. Ingestion can result in a high blood sodium concentration which can cause thirst, vomiting and lethargy, and in severe cases there is a risk of convulsions and kidney damage.

Most cases involve animals that have walked through gritted snow and then lick or chew it off their paws as they can find it irritating. It is therefore important to thoroughly wipe your pet’s feet and the fur on his/her legs and tummy after a walk or time outside. If he/she is showing any signs of discomfort after possible exposure to rock salt, use a mild, pet-safe shampoo and warm water to wash the affected areas, and dry your pet’s fur completely with a towel after washing.

Any animal suspected of ingestion of rock salt must be assessed by a vet immediately. This is important as signs can be non-specific and a blood test will be required to check the blood sodium concentration. Immediate veterinary treatment will be needed to rehydrate the animal and stabilise their sodium levels. The exact treatment will depend on the blood sodium concentration and the animal’s clinical condition. Owners should never attempt to induce vomiting; only a vet should do this.

If you suspect your cat has ingested rock salt do not wait to see the symptoms develop, but seek veterinary advice without delay. Again this emphasizes the importance of keeping cats indoors during severe weather whenever this is practical.

shared from the Pussington Post

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