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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7567
Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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My 6 month old kitten accidentally sniffed cocaine - will he

Customer Question

Hello. My 6 month old kitten accidentally sniffed cocaine - will he be okay? Nearly two hours after the incident he is sound asleep. His breathing was slightly off before - almost quite heavy and chesty. Should I take him to the vets now or in the morning?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He is now very lethargic and wanting to sleep a lot. Should I be concerned?
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 2 months ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your boy Achilles. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next few minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 2 months ago.

Hi again,

Thank you for your patience. Yes - if your cat came in to contact with cocaine at all (be it, licking, sniffing or eating it), you really should get him seen straight away. Cats metabolise drugs like this very differently from humans, and the effects are often much more profound and/or toxic. It sounds like he is relatively ok at the moment, but it is always better to play it safe in these situations.If you can't get him seen immediately, then for now, please keep an eye your boy's mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate tonight as follows (do be careful that your boy doesn't try to bite you):

Mucus membranes - flip his lip and look at the color of his gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get him to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on his gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if he is continuously panting or open mouth breathing at all tonight, this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

As it sounds like Achilles is quite lethargic right now, you really are best to get him seen straight away if you can. I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

PS: If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. E..." or "Pet-doc..." and others will leave the questions for me.

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 2 months ago.

Hopefully that answer came through ok? Let me know if you have any further questions.

Dr E

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi Dr EAchilles is seeming more normal now - his breathing has slowed down and his heart rate has lowered significantly, almost as if he is fine. Would it be okay to wait until the morning and risk him being seen by a vet? I would see a veterinary clinic within the next 4 hours but for now I would leave him at home asleep.I have read online that often, some cats will die after such experience. Will my baby be okay during the few hours I let him nap and sleep off his somewhat 'high'. I am very shocked and appalled that he even got close to the filth... let alone digested some.Please get back to me with possible options.
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 2 months ago.

Hi again,

As you say, cats can potentially die from an ingestion of cocaine, so I personally wouldn't be taking any chances here. It really is the best option to get Achilles seen straight away. Here your local vet can start him on IV fluids and carefully monitor his vital signs overnight and into Friday. It sounds like he is really quite lethargic right now, so there is no question that he needs to be seen asap. Keeping an eye on him from home isn't really an option here, as he needs fluid support and more intensive monitoring of his vital signs.

Dr E

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
PS. His gums seem to be fine - his breathing is at a normal rate also. Is it possible that he has now slept off his high?
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 2 months ago.

It's good that he seems ok right now, but if you are confident that he did indeed come in to contact with cocaine, then get him seen now whatever the case, as he could quickly deteriorate. It is certainly better to play it safe in these situations!

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi Dr. E.
How long do the effects normally take to kick in with cats, especially kittens? I have a feeling he is just tired and wanting to sleep so I do not want to disturb him to put him in a cage? Should I keep a close eye on him and if the situation changes, I will definitely take him to the 24/7 vet?What are your thoughts on the matter? I know you have suggested to take him to urgent medical care but I feel like this will upset him more and I want him to be calm and happy.
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 2 months ago.

Hi again,

One of the main reasons to get him seen asap to a 24/7 vet now, is that we have very little data on the outcomes of this sort of ingestion in cats or kittens. What we do know, is that toxicity and death are frequent due to the different way cats metabolise drugs like cocaine compared to humans. If you aren't sure he ingested any, or if you're not sure it was cocaine, then you may choose to continue to keep an eye on him for now and take him in if the situation changes. If you're confident he ingested or even just came in to contact with cocaine, then definitely get him seen now by your local ER vet.

All the best,

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 2 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Achilles. How is everything going?

Pet Doc