Have I done something terrible?

sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)July 3, 2008

Is menthol toxic to cats? Ginger got into something yesterday and proceeded to sniff the daylights out of it. To me it was just a pile of old leaves. It made her sneeze once or twice. When we went inside she started sneezing again and it got really distressing to me and to Ginger. When her eye lids were pink and a bit swollen and I could see the conjunctivea was also swollen I put a dab of Mentholatum on a washcloth and put it close to her head. It seemed to help and she went to sleep for an hour. Then she woke up, moved to a cooler spot and went back to sleep. She avoids the location of the washcloth now but I thought it had done some good since she wasn't sneezing any more. We both slept the day away and she is running a slight fever but her eyes are clear and not swollen or pink and she is not sneezing. I was looking up some websites and discovered one that said menthol is toxic to cats. Have I poisoned her instead of helping? I really hate this. Maybe the website is a bunch of hooey and maybe not. Other sites say it might be an intoxicant or maybe not. Help! Sandy

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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Sandy, I can't help you but I know others will chime in. I just wanted to say that I wouldn't have even thought to try that!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 8:19PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

I can't find that menthol as you applied would be toxic. Kitties don't care for the smell. You probably cleared her sinuses.

If in doubt PLEASE contact the ASPCA Poison Control.

It *IS* the best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have contact with a potentially poisonous substance, please call them!!! 1-(888) 426-4435.

A $60 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.

Here is a link that might be useful: ASPCA Poison Control

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 8:32PM
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Sandy, I have a feeling that what Ginger is going through is no fault of yours...more likely whatever it was that made her start sneezing and caused her eyelids to swell.

The only reason I say this is because of my experience with our Pookie and Icy Hot. Pookie smells that stuff, and she comes running as though I'm serving catnip in the half-shell. :D Sometimes, I'll moisten my finger with a tiny bit of it, and smear it on something handy for her. She sniffs it, rubs her chin on it, rolls around...just like when we give her catnip.

Anyway, the active ingredients in Mentholatum are Camphor 9% and Natural Menthol 1.3%. Icy Hot lists Menthol at 7.6%...a LOT more than what you applied to Ginger's head.

I sure hope she's feeling better today!!

Of course, good advice from Chicka, as always, and should be listened to more than my layman's experiences. Brenda

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 9:41AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

My thanks to all of you. I guess I overreacted. It is my own fault for not calling the vet for advice or taking her in. Chickie, thank you for the phone number. It is going into my address book right away. I feel rather foolish but I am so relieved she shows no bad affects today except for avoiding the two places where the washcloth was laid down. It must have been an allergic reaction that started the whole thing. I will check with the Vet. about what to do if it happens again. She was so miserable with the sneezes and short of Benedryl I had only the
Mentholatum to help her. After my own experience with Benedryl I knew it was not so benign and DH uses the Mentholatum a lot and she never objected.
I think I am overreacting again.
Thanks again, Sandy

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 5:11PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Your kitty was probably reacting to whatever was in the pile of leaves like Brenda noted. The menthol probably opened her sinuses and she could breathe better.

A quickie note about Benadryl for animals... PLEASE read the ingredients label. Some forms of Benadryl (diphenhydramine) are formulated with NutraSweet, the artificial sweetener aspartame. That is not exactly a toxin per say but may cause stomach upset or headaches in animals. (People too!)

How does one know their dog or cat has a headache? Some animals will exhibit odd behaviour like pressing their head against a wall or trying to stand on their head. Best to avoid that and ANY artificial sweetener. Some are very toxic.

Glad she's doing OK. :-)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 7:36AM
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