Vets are now warning pet owners to be wary of the dangers surrounding Himalayan salt lamps after an incident where a woman from New Zealand almost lost her cat when it licked the household item.
Following a now viral Facebook post, the pet owner, Maddie Smith, said her cat Ruby was starting to show signs of being unwell the morning of June 26.
The warning about the salt lamps was also shared to the Rose Avenue Vet Hospital Facebook page, which is in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.
*****WARNING ABOUT SALT LAMPS!!Written by Maddie Smith of NZ (case happened in NZ at First Vets): Please please…Posted by Rose Avenue Vet Hospital on Friday, June 28, 2019
“We woke up on Wednesday morning to our darling Ruby walking really strangely and had her head in an odd position as she walked,” Smith shared.
Smith, who is originally from New Zealand, but now lives in Australia, said she initially assumed Ruby’s behavior was being caused by cold weather.
She went to work as usual after getting Ruby “nice and toasty.”
However, by the time she returned home from work, her health had “deteriorated dramatically,” and Smith rushed her to the vet.
Ruby was treated, but vets were extremely worried as the cat couldn’t walk, eat, or drink properly. Ruby also couldn’t hear or see, leading vets to believe she had “neurological problems,” Smith explained.
A vet has issued a warning for pet owners after a cat was nearly killed from licking a Himalayan salt lamp in New Zealand. Maddie Smith noticed her… https://t.co/p22Aaji5ou— Julia Charnley (@JuliaCharnley) July 3, 2019
“Her basic senses and abilities GONE in 12 hours. She was so helpless,” Smith said.
The following morning, blood tests came back showing Ruby had extremely high sodium levels. Vets told Smith that Ruby’s brain was swollen as a result of suffering from severe sodium poisoning, which then caused the many neurological problems she was experiencing.
According to Pet Poison Helpline, sodium poisoning in cats and dogs has the potential to be life-threatening, with common symptoms including such signs as vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, seizures and even coma.
Smith was completely unaware of the dangers of owning a Himalayan salt lamp and explained that Ruby had ingested the salt by licking the lamp which Smith had in her lounge.
“She is basically a miracle to still be here now. These salt lamps are addictive to animals, and if they get a taste it becomes like potato chips are to us! So please please keep these out of reach from your fur babies,” Smith warned.
Thankfully, Ruby will make a full recovery. And Smith has since removed the Himalayan salt lamp entirely from her home.
According to Wide Open Pets, the Himalayan salt lamp has become a very popular item to own in the house, since it does have several health benefits to it, including better quality sleep and increased blood flow.
But the site has reported that the lamp can be dangerous if pets ingest more than their recommended daily maximum salt intake from licking the object. For cats, the recommended sodium intake is 16.7 milligrams per day.
Other common household items which have the potential to be hazardous to pets, are things like essential oil diffusers and burners.
According to Michelson Found Animals, many essential oils, which are usually made from plant extracts, are toxic to both dogs and cats, because “their reactions mess up a pet’s natural body chemistry.”
Also according to the site, the essential oils which are harmful to cats include Wintergreen, Sweet birch, Citrus, Pine, Ylang ylang, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Pennyroyal, Clove, Eucalyptus, Tea tree (melaleuca), Thyme, Oregano, and Lavender.
While the essential oils that are dangerous to dogs are Cinnamon, Citrus, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Pine, Sweet birch, Tea tree (melaleuca), Wintergreen, Ylang ylang, Anise, Clove, Thyme, Juniper, Yarrow, and Garlic.
The site is urging pet owners to be careful of what is in their household and immediately contact their vet if their pets begin showing signs of poisoning, such as vomiting, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and difficulty walking.