'Toxic-shock fit': Warning for pet owners over Dettol product

Nadine Carroll
·3-min read

A pet owner has warned others after a Dettol cleaning product almost killed her pet cat.

Hannah Butcher from the UK claimed on social media her cat Lily ended up needing veterinary treatment after she sat on a lounge sprayed with Dettol antibacterial All In One disinfectant spray.

"Warning to pet owners. Today my beautiful Lily bud had a toxic-shock fit – absolutely awful and so scary," Ms Butcher wrote in a Facebook post that has now been shared over 70,000 times.

A cat being taken to the vet for treatment (left) after coming into contact with a Dettol product (right)
A pet owner has warned others not to use Dettol products (right) around their pets after her cat (left) almost died. Source: Facebook

"I sprayed the sofa which it says is safe to do so. Lily got on the sofa and half an hour later I heard a horrible noise and she was fitting."

Ms Butcher said her cat lost control of her bladder and when she rushed her to the vet, they instantly suspected the cat owner used Dettol products.

"The vet said it was likely my cat came in contact with the spray while it was wet," Ms Butcher explained.

The Dettol All In One disinfectant spray is not available in Australia, Dettol's manufacturers Reckitt Benckiser confirmed to Yahoo News Australia.

The post attracted over 7000 comments, many from pet owners who had experienced similar problems with Dettol products.

"The same thing happened to my cat last week and we use that Dettol spray too, she was fine one minute and the next barely breathing," another cat owner wrote.

"We bought some of that Dettol spray two weeks ago. Four days later my cat had a fit on my lap. Have had her checked out, she’s fit and healthy, there’s no obvious reason for the fit, which she’d never had before," a pet owner replied.

a cat on a lounge
Lily the cat was rushed to the vet after she sat on a lounge sprayed with Dettol anitbacterial spray. Source: Facebook

Is Dettol dangerous to pets?

Dettol contains phenol chloroxylenol, which is dangerous for all animals but especially cats, because felines are unable to eliminate toxins following ingestion, according to vets at Erina Heights Vet Hospital in Gosford.

Cats are most likely to lick Dettol off their skin during grooming, which can result in the toxic substance being ingested.

The manufacturer of Dettol says pets should be kept away when using the product.

"Dettol Australia was saddened to learn about the experience of the cat owner in the United Kingdom," the company said in a statement.

"The label for Dettol Antibacterial All In One Disinfectant Spray clearly states that pets and exotic animals should be kept away during product use.

"The label also requires the user of the product to wait until dry to bring the pet back on the surface where the product is used."

Signs your animal may be poisoned may include vomiting, diarrhoea, incoordination, seizures and difficulty breathing.

If you suspect your pet has been ingested poison, it’s best to seek vet help immediately.

Ms Butcher said Lily has returned home after two days at the vet and is back to her usual self.

"I really hope this has shed light on the risk these products can have on our fur babies, and that possibly by sharing Lily's ordeal it may prevent it happening to even just one other precious pet out there," she wrote.

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