Hair Dye, Minoxidil & Voltaren: Poisonous to Cats

I need to alert you about 3 rising and essential toxins of cats. I additionally need you to peer the hyperlink between those merchandise and the way they is also simply the end of the iceberg in family poisonings.

Minoxidil : A Baldness Remedy

Minoxidil has turn out to be highly regarded because of its skill to stimulate hair regrowth at the scalp of other people. It was once initially advertised as Rogaine, however is now to be had as an over-the-counter generic in liquid, foam and shampoo bureaucracy.

When cats lick even a tiny quantity, it reasons vomiting, drooling, low blood force, critical sickness and frequently dying. Since the product is implemented to the surface, it might probably simply come into touch with cats both at once, through licking the world, and even from pillows.

I first found out this toxin 365 days in the past after a record from the Animal Poison Keep an eye on Middle that you’ll be able to learn right here. Of their checklist of the highest reasons of poisoning deaths in cats, it integrated a drug I had by no means heard of.

If I didn’t learn about it, it intended many different vets didn’t both, and only a few cat house owners.

The message is understated: if you happen to use minoxidil in any shape, be extraordinarily cautious:

  • Blank up spaces in moderation after use, particularly spills or stray drops
  • Don’t permit your cat to come back into touch with handled spaces of pores and skin
  • Save you get admission to to bedrooms 
  • Blank sheets and pillowcases continuously
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PPD: A Hair Dye Element

Para-phenylenediamine (PPD) is a fixative discovered in lots of hair dyes and henna transient tattoos. It reasons a deeper, longer lasting and extra intense color. Oral ingestion ends up in intravascular hemolysis, rhabdomyolysis, myoglobinuria and acute renal failure. 

In different phrases, this implies large destruction of pink blood cells and muscle cells. The discharge in their contents into the flow reasons downstream kidney harm. This is similar procedure you every so often listen about with overexercise in scorching prerequisites

I simplest heard about this toxin remaining week, however I noticed a case a yr in the past that I’m now satisfied was once led to through it. 

Mimi’s Acute Renal Damage

Mimi’s house owners got here to me for a 2nd opinion after he was once identified with acute kidney failure. The fascinating factor is that in spite of an in depth seek for the toxin, it was once by no means discovered. Alternatively, because of the timing, Mimi‘s house owners strongly suspected {that a} hair dye had led to it.

On the time, I performed a seek to the most efficient of my skills and located no hyperlink between dyes and poisoning. The case remained a thriller. Mimi survived simplest because of heroic efforts through his house owners and various veterinary groups.

Wisdom of the toxicity of PPD is widely recognized in human clinical circles, however no documented instances of poisoning exist in animals. It’s most likely that the loss of proof is because of a loss of reputation, now not incidence. Like in Mimi’s case, it’s close to unimaginable to turn out a specific toxin reasons kidney failure because of the lengthen between poisoning and analysis.

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As soon as once more, prevention is ready minimising publicity:

  • Use hair dyes and hennas with out PPD if conceivable
  • Use dyes and hennas in a well-ventilated position the place your cat can not sign up for you
  • After of completion, blank up any spills and splashes in moderation
  • Rinse basins, baths and showers completely since cats frequently love to lick those spaces after use
  • Don’t permit your cat to lick the dyed spaces

Diclofenac (Voltaren)

A 3rd commonplace explanation for cat poisoning deaths is the human use of potent anti-inflammatories. As soon as once more, the danger is principally from merchandise implemented to the surface. Merchandise like Voltaren gel include diclofenac, which even in small amounts will purpose kidney failure.

Cats usually are poisoned both through licking the handled spaces, or getting spilt product on their paws or coat. Along with the strategies above, prevention will have to additionally come with protecting the handled spaces with clothes and preserving the goods in a safe position.

The Not unusual Hyperlink

All 3 of those toxins display us how prone cats are to family poisoning. That is for 3 causes:

  1. Cats are naturally inquisitive and can search out and examine new issues
  2. Cat appear inherently delicate to quite a lot of chemical compounds
  3. Anything else that contacts the outdoor of a cat will invariably be licked off and swallowed

The 3rd level way we will have to upload a last type of prevention: if anything else now not identified to be secure will get to your cat’s coat or paws, it is very important give them a tub. This isn’t a choice taken evenly, however it can be life-saving.

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Additionally, I’d watch out about any drugs, dyes or different family chemical compounds, without reference to whether or not they include diclofenac, minoxidil or PPD*. If we’re finding out something, it’s that cats will display us simply how poisonous a chemical will also be.

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Through Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. Meet his group right here.


Anuradha, S., Arora, S., Mehrotra, S., Arora, A., & Kar, P. (2004). Acute renal failure following para‐phenylenediamine (PPD) poisoning: a case record and evaluation. Renal failure26(3), 329-332

Tater, Okay. C., Gwaltney-Brant, S., & Wismer, T. (2021). Topical Minoxidil Exposures and Toxicoses in Canine and Cats: 211 Circumstances (2001–2019). Magazine of the American Animal Medical institution Affiliation57(5), 225-231

* Simply take a look at the factor checklist for a non-PPD containing hair dye as an example: what number of of those do you suppose were examined in cats? Cetearyl Alcohol, Ammonium Hydroxide, Glyceryl Stearate, Ceteareth-20, Toluene-2,5-Diamine Sulfate, Octyldodecanol, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ethanolamine, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Perfume, 2-Methylresorcinol, Resorcinol, Serine, Sodium Sulfite, Oleic Acid, Potassium Stearate, Glycerin, Tetrasodium EDTA, m-Aminophenol, Carbomer, Linalool, Potassium Hydroxide, Citronellol, Ascorbic Acid, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Sulfate, Hexyl Salicylate, 2-Amino-3-Hydroxypyridine, Hydrogen Peroxide, PEG-40 Castor Oil, Disodium Pyrophosphate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Phosphoric Acid, Behentrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Amodimethicone/Morpholinomethyl Silsesquioxane Copolymer, Magnesium Citrate, Magnesium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Polyquaternium-37, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Panthenol, Isopropyl Myristate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Isopropyl Alcohol, Sodium Methylparaben, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Sodium Hydroxide, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Lauryl Glucoside, Trideceth-5, Salicylic Acid.


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