A woman has issued a warning after her cat was poisoned by a Himalayan salt lamp.
Maddie Smith, from Wanganui on New Zealand’s North Island, wrote on Friday she woke up to her cat Ruby “walking really strangely” on Wednesday morning.
“We initially thought this was just because she was so cold so we got her nice and toasty and left for work as usual,” Ms Smith said on Facebook.
But when Ms Smith returned home she noticed Ruby “had deteriorated dramatically” and rushed her to the vet.
“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,” the cat owner wrote.
“Her basic senses and abilities gone in 12 hours. She was so helpless.”
The vets ran tests but nothing irregular showed up until Ruby’s blood tests came back on Friday.
Vets found the little cat 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,” Ms Smith wrote.
“The salt poisoning was caused by just your normal salt lamp that we had in our lounge. Ruby has ingested the salt by simply licking the lamp.”
She added salt poisoning is “extremely deadly” to animals.
“She is basically a miracle to still be here now,” Ms Smith wrote.
“These salt lamps are addictive to animals, and if they get a taste it becomes just like potato chips are to us.”
While Ruby’s poisoning could have been lethal, Himalayan salt lamps are only hazardous if a pet consumes the mineral in excess.
According to an article published on Wide Open Pets, salt lamps are “extremely deadly” if a cat or dog licks the lamp “repeatedly”.
“Cats can only have 42mg of salt each day at the very maximum. Any more and it could then become a poison issue and can result in dire consequences,” according to Wide Open Pets.
“Salt is toxic to cats (and dogs) in extremely large doses – so if you do decide to have a salt lamp in your home, it is important to ensure it is not in easy reach of your pets and to monitor how much your pet is licking it.”
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