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My kitten may have eaten a half of 0.3mg clonidine pill and…

My kitten may have...

My kitten may have eaten a half of 0.3mg clonidine pill and is acting a little lethargic

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Answered in 1 minute by:
1/15/2018
Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2,957
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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Hello,

I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help with your question about your kitten and the clonidine.

How long ago might this have happened?

How old is your kitten and approximately how much does she weigh?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Not sure how long ago she is about 5 and a half months and maybe 6 lbs at the most, she has been acting lethargic for about a couple of hrs

Can we narrow down the time even a little bit? How long ago at the most?

How recently at the soonest?

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And any other symptoms like vomiting?

It'll also be helpful to know if she is arousable and can be woken up enough to eat or play.

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In the meantime, I'll let you know that sedation and lowered blood pressure are the most common side effects of this medication, and this certainly is a dangerously large dose for such a small kitten.

The recommended treatment for clonidine overdose is to get the pet to an ER as soon as possible where they can induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal, assuming it is not too late to prevent the whole dose from being absorbed. IV fluids and other medications can be used to try to keep the heart rate from getting too low.

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More information for you to consider. We don't have much experience with clonidine in cats, but here are the statistics for dogs. There were 344 single agent exposures to clonidine reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) during 2009-2013. There were 307 exposed dogs, of which 132 became symptomatic. The most common clinical signs included: lethargy/sedation (64%), bradycardia (28%), ataxia (18%), pale mucus membranes (14%), vomiting (14%), and hypotension (9%). Of the 37 cats, 22 became symptomatic with vomiting (45%), ataxia (36%), lethargy (32%), bradycardia (18%) and hypotension (14%) being the most common.

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And even though the drug is very likely to cause problems, I can offer you the reassurance that lethal overdoses are not at all common.

Toxicity studies have only been done in rats and mice. Based on those studies, we can conclude it would take more than ten tablets to actually be lethal.

At least we know that much.

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So, in conclusion...

If your kitten seems dangerously lethargic and difficult to arouse or her heart rate is slow (less than 80 beats per minute), it's time to get her to the ER.

If she just seems a little sleepy but you can arouse her and she'll eat and drink, etc., it's much less worrisome.

The effects of this medication should wear off over 12-24 hours.

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And if it's likely she ate it more than a couple of hours ago, it's not worth the risk of making her vomit.

I hope this information helps. I want to be as helpful as possible because I know what it's like to worry.

Does this answer your question for the time being?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you, ***** ***** up and eating a little bit, I'm not sure if she vomited but I found some in my basement a few hrs ago it may have been her it may have been my other cats

I'm super relieve to hear she's up and eating a little bit. That's a really good sign.

If she vomited, that can help get rid of some of the drug, so it's actually a good thing (as long as she hasn't continued to vomit).

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Is there anything else I can help you with at this time?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
if she ate it a few hrs do you think she'd get worse or do you think it will start to wear off

The worst effects of depressed heart rate and blood pressure are supposed to wear off within the first couple of hours.

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So, if she ate it a few hours ago, she should already be starting to get better.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
That's good to hear

It's good news that this drug is eliminated from the system fairly quickly.

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Yep...

Every hour that goes by where she seems arousable and able to eat is a positive thing.

And at least now you have a good list of the side effects this drug can cause.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
thank you

I'm glad I could help.

Please take a moment to rate my response on your way out of the chat so I may receive credit for helping you tonight.

I'll remain hopeful your kitten does well.

Thank you for using our website.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
One more thing I just checked her heart rate it was 120 is that normal for a kitten

That's a very normal heart rate, yes. :-)

Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2,957
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you
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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2,957
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Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.

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