A better understanding of which animals are likely to poison cats can help enhance treatment
At the 2023 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) forum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Fernanda Vieira Amorim da Costa, DVM, Msc, PhD, associate professor at The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, presented a poster entitled “A Restrospective Study of Venom Animals Accidents in Cats in South Brazil.”1 According to the Journal of Human Growth and Development,2 there are approximately 115,000 cases per year involving venomous animals poisoning humans, so to fill a gap, this research focused on venomous animals attacking companion animals, particularly cats.
There is a lack of reports of cats getting poisoned by venomous animals and though it is uncommon, it’s an important area of knowledge as these incidents can be fatal. The study’s objective was to retrospectively examine accidents with venom animals in cats in South Brazil from 2010 to 2020. There were 51 cases registered by the Rio Grande do Sul State Toxicology Information Center (CIT/RS) were included.1
It was revealed that there were 13 accidents with snakes (11 cases involving Bothrops and 2 cases involving the Micrurus genus); 13 accidents with centipedes; 9 cases with spiders (5 out of 9 caused by the genera Phoneutria) and (4 out of 9 caused by Loxosceles); 8 cases with insects of the order Hymenoptera; 4 involving bees (Apis mellifera), and 2 cases involving wasps (Polistes spp). In 2 cases out of 8, the insect species of the Hymenoptera order couldn’t be determined. The remaining accidents involved: frogs of Bufo genus (4 out of 51), scorpions (3 out of 51), and a moth of Hylesia genus (1 out of 51).1
In conclusion, though venomous animal accidents with cats occur less than those with humans and perhaps other pets, more research is needed in this area, especially regarding treatment.1 Typically, cats have physiological and behavioral differences that must be considered during emergency care for exposure to toxins.