An animal hospital has shared a warning for pet owners after a cat nearly died from licking a certain type of lamp.
Cat owner Maddie Smith, from New Zealand, noticed her 11-month-old cat Ruby was acting strangely one morning, but assumed it was because of the cold weather.
Later the same day, after coming home from work, Maddie noticed Ruby’s condition had worsened, the cat was unable to walk, eat or drink, and she was struggling to see or hear.
After taking Ruby to the vet, it was discovered the cat was suffering from brain swelling, due to severe sodium poisoning.
Sodium poisoning can be life-threatening for animals, as it can cause seizures, vomiting, diarrhoea and loss of coordination.
In this case, it seems Ruby had been licking a light known as a Himalayan salt lamp, meaning the cat had ingested large amounts of sodium.
Posting on the Rose Avenue Vet Hospital’s Facebook page, Maddie warned other pet owners about the dangers of the salt lamps.
After taking Ruby to the vets, Maddie explained:
The vets were extremely concerned for her and could see she definitely had neurological problems because she simply could not walk properly, could not hear or see, couldn’t even eat or drink properly because she couldn’t function her tongue the best. Her basic senses and abilities GONE in 12 hours.
So the vets ran some tests and they were all good, no worries. Until her bloods arrived back this morning, and she had extremely high sodium levels in her blood. So this severe salt poisoning had caused her brain to swell, and ultimately the neurological problems that followed.
Fortunately, the vets and Maddie realised the high sodium levels were because of the salt lamp, which Maddie removed from her home straight away.
According to the vets, this type of thing is more common in dogs, and was the first time they’d seen it happen to a cat, which was a ‘huge shock’. Salt lamps can be addictive to animals, but they are extremely dangerous too.
Thankfully, Ruby is on the road to recovery, with Maddie saying: ‘we are so glad she’s still here with us, with the right nutrition and hydration we should have her back to normal.’
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.