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Atropine?

Species: Cat
Breed: Yellow/White Short H
Age: 2-5 years
I live in a tiny town in Nicaragua and there is no vet...just a veterinary food and med store. My 3 year old, healthy male cat awakened me this morning crying continuously and running around looking anxious and confused. He looked just like the cat I had before that had been poisoned. I ran to the vet store and the woman gave him an injection of Atropine, 1/2 ml. She told me to give him baking soda dissolved in water which I did. He reacted strongly and started chewing and chewing the air. His pupils dilated hugely. He keeps crying and crying and crying. I don't know what else to do. Did the Atropine hurt him? Or has he been poisoned, as I feared, and the symptoms are showing more now? I just gave him 20 ml of an electrolyte/vitamin solution, watered down. He hated it but most of it went in. I have him in a dog kennel so he can't run away.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh dear. This is a very tough question to answer over the internet.

While atropine could be an antidote for some types of poisons such as organophosphate poisoning, it's not something that I would regularly give. The dilated pupils are most definitely from atropine and may take a couple of days to go down. I don't know what strength the atropine was, but 1/2 ml could be a very high dose.

Most likely you have not done permanent harm, but I am doubtful that it helped.

If a young cat is suddenly walking around in distress the first thing I worry about is a urinary tract blockage which can be very serious. A poisoning would usually cause just extreme lethargy and lack of appetite (depending on the poison), but it's hard to say for sure.

Unfortunately I can't advise you on what to do as I could think of hundreds of possible causes for his symptoms and each would have its own treatment and most likely that treatment would be something that you could not do at home.

I really hope he makes an improvement soon!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.