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My cat got into one of those instant hand warmer packets and…

Customer Question
Hi my cat got...

Hi my cat got into one of those instant hand warmer packets and torn it up a bit. i found it with little holes in it and a little bit of the material was on the ground but most of it was in the package still. i’m just worried she might have consumed a bit of the material.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with your cat?

Honestly she seems to be acting fine, she’s very vocal and playing around as usual i’m just worried she’s not showing side effects right away or i honestly don’t even know what to expect after she ate something like that

Veterinarian's Assistant: The Expert will know if your cat will be able to digest that. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your cat?

No that’s it

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 27 minutes by:
6/11/2018
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,536
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

These hand warmers contain a mixture of iron powder, activated charcoal, vermiculite, sodium chloride, and water. Iron powder accounts for about 50% of the weight (range 95-120 g). There are no reports of elemental iron or iron oxides ingestion causing iron toxicity and no published data on the absorption, elimination, adverse effects, or toxicities in humans after unintentional ingestion of hand warmer contents. A single oral dose toxicity test of hand warmer contents (2 g/kg) resulted in no toxicity or deaths in ten rats. There are no such studies in cats but we expect that they're just as nontoxic to cats as to rats. Ingestions of one hand warmer packet or less can be treated with observation and supportive care as needed.

Although this case series is small, the lack of toxicity is consistent with animal studies. It appears unlikely that significant toxicity will occur after the ingestion of one hand warmer packet. The ingestion of larger amounts might lead to iron-related toxicity and may justify more aggressive management. There's no need to induce emesis or treat your cat in any manner. Please respond with further questions or concerns.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Hi,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin
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Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.

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