Topical Hair Growth Formulas Prove Poisonous to Cats

Minoxidil poses serious health risks for cats according to the ASPCA.

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October 13, 2005
Minoxidil, a topical solution used to promote hair growth in humans, poses serious health risks for cats, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA).

While the possibility of clinical problems from minoxidil exposures exists for dogs and other animals, cats may be especially sensitive because they lack a specific enzyme necessary for breaking this drug down in their bodies says Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, DVM, medical director of the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC).

Cats ingesting the drug can experience lethargy, a severe drop in blood pressure, fluid accumulation in the lungs and damage to the heart muscle, which can result in cardiac arrest, according to APCC data.

Lethargy and a drop in blood pressure typically develops within 12 hours, and the cardiac effects generally occur three to four days following exposure if treatment is not sought quickly, Gwaltney-Brant says.

To minimize exposure to the drug, the ASPCA suggests that pet owners should never apply minoxidil products to their cat or in the same room as their cat. Always clean up any spills of the product immediately and

never allow their cat to lick any area treated with the product. If ingestion of minoxidil is suspected, the ASPCA warns owners to contact a veterinarian immediately.

For more information, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (212) 876-7700.

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Topical Hair Growth Formulas Prove Poisonous to Cats

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debby    raleigh, MN

2/13/2012 12:49:18 PM

wow why would any one leave this around for animals to eat.

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