AT LEAST EIGHT CATS POISONED IN 7 DAYS
VETS in Cheadle are urging vigilance after at least eight cats were poisoned in seven days.
A string of fatal cases of
antifreeze consumption has been reported across the town.
One family lost two of their beloved pets in one evening, with a third thought to have become ill on the same day.
Veterinary practices and members of the RSPCA are now urging owners to supervise their animals and keep a close watch for signs that their pet has ingested any toxic substance.
Sara Hambleton, from Hammersley Hayes, lost three of her cats to antifreeze poisoning last Thursday.
After returning home from work, she discovered one of her pets, Charlie, was acting strangely.
She said: “He couldn’t stand up, he just collapsed.
“I’ve got two dogs, so we put them in the garden while we tried to tend to Charlie.
“One of the dogs was staring at our butterfly bush and making the weirdest noise, trying to get attention.
“We went up the garden and our ginger cat, Max, was in the bush. He was already dead.
“We took Charlie to the vets, but there was nothing they could do. He had to be put down.
“My spotted tabby, Jinx, never came home.
“I got a call at work on Sunday. He had been found in a neighbours’ garden seriously ill, but he died before I could get there.
“It was out of the blue. They were perfectly fine when I left for work on Thursday morning.
“Altogether I’ve heard that 11 cats have died from poisoning in the Hammersley Hayes area since Thursday.
“I’ve got one cat left now and she’s never going outside ever again, I daren’t risk it.”
Lime Trees Veterinary Clinic posted a warning on Facebook about the sudden spate of cat deaths, advising people to look out for signs their pet may have been poisoned.
The clinic said cases had been reported from across Cheadle, but particularly Hammersley Hayes, the Master Potter estate and Broadhayes Park.
Dr Nigel Parkes said: “Lime Trees Veterinary Clinic treated four cats in the past week but suspect there to be eight cases in total connected to antifreeze poisoning – and all of these have unfortunately proved fatal.
“The antifreeze, properly known as ethylene glycol, has one feature which makes it very dangerous to cats – it has a very sweet taste.
“While most people will store any large supplies well away from inquisitive children, even a small splash on the driveway could
deliver a fatal dose to a passing feline.”
Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning can include:
• Rapid breathing
Dr Parkes added: “It’s very important that if a cat is observed drinking antifreeze that it be taken to a veterinary surgery within an hour.
“The antifreeze will cause severe damage to the cat’s kidneys and, once this has happened, the death rate can be as high as 96 per cent.
“In cases of accidental poisoning through spillage, prompt action really will save the lives of our feline friends.”
The matter has been reported to both the RSPCA and Staffordshire Police.
A spokesman for the animal charity said: “The RSPCA has been made aware of eight cats which have died as a result of suspected antifreeze poisoning in Cheadle.
“At the moment we don’t know if the poisonings are deliberate or accidental, but we urge anyone who has any information to contact us on 0300 123 8018.
“We’re advising cat owners in the area to keep an eye on their pets’ well-being and, if they’re showing symptoms of poisoning, to get them veterinary treatment immediately.
“If possible and safe to do so, you should take a sample of what the cat has eaten/drunk or the container.
“We’d also like to remind people to check where they keep their pesticides and chemicals, including antifreeze, and make sure it’s secure and out of the way of cats.
“People should check their car radiators for leaks too.”
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police was unable to shed any further light on the matter.
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