Halloween is celebrated annually on October 31. This is one of the historically oldest celebratory occasions which is observed in many countries throughout the world but receives the most popularity in the United States and Canada.
Halloween is a very special, highly ritualized holiday. Some folks like bobbing for apples; some people get their thrills by visiting haunted houses, while others enjoy watching hair-raising, scalp-tingling frightening horror movies.
Ghosts and goblins are invited to come out to play. Skeletons, with their clanking chains – and zombies roaming our neighborhoods give us a fright. “Stay-at-homers” get besieged with eager small trick-or treaters garbed in scary costumes constantly ringing our doorbells for their fair share of candy, cookies and other goodies. Being frightened on Halloween is not only perfectly natural; it is to be expected.
This said, Halloween terror escalated to new heights for me this past Halloween thanks to the antics of our kitten, Edgar Allen Poe, aka EAP. Kittens have insatiable, inquisitive natures and anything and everything found on the floor is tempting and often end up in their mouths, in spite of arduous kitty-proofing.
I am a zealous safety-minded kitty guardian. I always scan judiciously in search of potentially dangerous objects within their reach. So a few weeks ago when I discovered several 5000 IU capsules of Vitamin D3 on the dining room carpet. I had no idea how they got there but you can bet your bippie that I vacuumed the carpet to be sure that all of them were gone.
However, on the morning of this past Halloween fortunately I caught Edgar Allen Poe eating something off the floor. I immediately ran over to him just in time to grab the object from his mouth. It turned out to be one-half of a gelatin capsule of Vitamin D3. Unfortunately he had already consumed a whole one which meant he had ingested more than one capsule. I flew onto my computer to ascertain whether Vitamin D3 was toxic for kitties.
My search revealed that even moderate levels of Vitamin D3 are potentially toxic for cats. While Vitamin D is essential in regulating the calcium and phosphorous balance in a cat’s body and encourages calcium retention to help bone formation and muscle and nerve control, Vitamin D isn’t a benign substance.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in fatty body tissues and the liver. If excessive levels are ingested it can create serious health concerns. I immediately called our vet clinic’s emergency number and was advised to call the ASPCA Pet Poison hotline.
I must give the ASPCA Pet Poison Control hotline much kudos. Following my experience with the service, I highly recommend it to anyone concerned that their pet has consumed a potentially toxic substance.
They asked for EAP’s age, weight and physical condition and the amount he had ingested. Fortunately it turned out that 5000 IU vitamin D3 is the equivalent to 0.075mg. EAP ate almost two 5000 IU vitamin D3 capsules, equivalent to 0.15 mg.
To be toxic for EAP it would require him to have ingested over 4 capsules. Since EAP is still growing, the extra calcium was not harmful. However this might be a borderline amount for older cats.
While the service costs $65, it was certainly worth my peace of mind. Based on the service’s findings a trip to an emergency room was also avoided. Additionally callers can contact the service within 12 hours for further assistance at no additional cost.
I am so relieved that Halloween is over and that no harm came to EAP. But you can rest assured that my recent Halloween “trick or treat” experience won’t be easily forgotten.
Has anyone else ever had a memorable scary feline-related Halloween event? Tell us with a comment.
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