Cat Ate Advil Liqui-Gels: Emergency Alert With Proper Action Guide

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Cat Ate Advil Liqui-Gels

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I’ve had my share of problems with my cat, Muezza, a 2 year 8 months mixed Persian. One moment I recall was when she ate Advil Liqui-Gels tablet I just bough for pain relief. It’s true that it was a frustrating moment for me, but I learned quite a lot from this incident.

So, your cat ate Advil Liqui-Gels? There’s a risk of kidney and liver failure, and hypertension if your cat eats the whole tablet. On the other hand, it will trigger stomach ulcers if your cat licks a small amount of the tablet. However, it takes at least 2 hours for the effects to kick in, giving you time to call your vet. 

In this guide, I’ll detail the risks of ibuprofen toxicity in cats, including the symptoms and long-term effects. I’ll also explain the need for urgent veterinary attention.

My Cat Ate Advil Liqui-Gels: What Toxic Element Does Advil Liqui-Gels Contain?

Each Advil Liqui-Gels tablet contains 200 mg of solubilized ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is an NSAID, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, for humans. But what if your cat licked or ate Advil Liqui-Gels tablet? Is it safe?

NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, typically inhibit the COX enzymes that produce prostaglandins. Just so you know, prostaglandins are substances that promote inflammation and sensitize pain receptors.

So, by blocking prostaglandin production, NSAIDs can reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

However, cats metabolize drugs differently. Cats’ livers break down drugs differently than humans. For instance, they lack the enzymes UGT1A6 and UGT1A9 to properly metabolize drugs like ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen is constantly reintroduced into the liver from the intestines instead of being expelled from your cat’s body. This cycle renders Advil Liqui-Gels harmful and even deadly when administered at minimal doses.

It’s for this reason that veterinarians have access to NSAIDs that are specifically formulated for animals. These are dosed and metabolized differently to be safer for pets. Examples include Meloxicam, Deracoxib, Firocoxib, and Carprofen.

How Much Ibuprofen Is Toxic To Cats?

From what I can tell, Muezza licked about half Advil Liqui-Gels tablet, and the experience wasn’t so pleasant. From my analysis, Advil Liqui-Gels contains a higher concentration of ibuprofen.

But how much Advil is toxic to cats? It would interest you to know that 200 mg of ibuprofen is toxic for cats. So, if my cat ate a whole Advil Liqui-Gels tablet, which contains 200 mg of ibuprofen, the consequences could have been fatal.

Toxic ibuprofen for cats primarily depends on your cat’s size. Often, signs of toxicity set in at a dosage of 50 mg/kg or 22 mg/pound. So, assuming your cat weighs 10 pounds, or around 4.54 kg, the toxic dose is 220-227 mg.

Essentially, this is the dose that will cause the kidneys and liver greater damage. So, even well below the toxic dose, your cat will still suffer stomach ulcers or gastrointestinal ulceration.

Here are some more guidelines for you:

  • As little as 1/2 – 1 ibuprofen tablet (around 80-200 mg) can potentially cause toxicity in cats.
  • For cats weighing under 10 lbs, as little as 10-20 mg/kg of ibuprofen can be dangerous.
  • It only takes ingesting 0.5-1 mL of liquid ibuprofen to potentially poison a small cat.
  • The toxic dose depends on your cat’s size, age, and health history.

How Do I Know If My Cat Ate Ibuprofen?

If your cat ingested ibuprofen, look for any of these common symptoms:

Clinical SignNotes
VomitingA common early sign as the ibuprofen irritates the cat’s stomach lining. Vomiting may be severe and persistent.
LethargyCats will often become tired, inactive, and less responsive after ingesting ibuprofen. This is due to effects on the kidneys and other organs.
Decreased appetiteYour cat may refuse food or eat less because of nausea from the ibuprofen or damage to their stomach and intestines.
DiarrheaYour cat may develop diarrhea in addition to or instead of vomiting. This is also due to gastrointestinal irritation.
Abdominal painCats may vocalize, hunch their backs, or act restless due to pain in their abdomen from ibuprofen toxicity.
Changes in urination/defecationThis can include increased or decreased urination, bloody or tarry stools, and difficulty passing urine, which is often a later sign of kidney damage.
WeaknessAs the kidneys and other organs begin to fail (after 3-5 days of ingestion), cats can become severely weak and unstable on their feet.
Tremors/seizuresMore severe poisoning can affect the cat’s neurological function and cause tremors, seizures, or abnormal behavior.
Pale gumsThis indicates issues with the cat’s red blood cells.
Yellow eyes/skinA sign of liver damage
Bleeding tendenciesIbuprofen toxicity can make it harder for the cat’s blood to clot, leading to nosebleeds or blood in the stool or vomit.

How Long Does Ibuprofen Poisoning Take In Cats?

Ibuprofen poisoning symptoms can show up right away or after a few days. It primarily relies on the dosage and the condition of your cat. Here are some important points to remember, though:

TimelineSymptoms
2-6 hoursToxicity may appear within 2-6 hours after a cat ingests the medication. These are often gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and a lack of appetite.
12-24 hoursAs poisoning progresses, symptoms can worsen rapidly. These include abnormal behavior, seizures, weakness, and gastrointestinal ulceration/bleeding.
1-3 daysAcute kidney failure and liver damage, especially at higher doses. Other life-threatening complications like anemia, gastrointestinal perforation, and inflammation of the pancreas can arise

Ibuprofen toxicity in cats is worse and happens faster at higher doses. Over time, even quite modest amounts can become poisonous.

Untreated ibuprofen poisoning in cats often has a poor prognosis and can cause death within 1-5 days. Be that as it may, fatality will depend on dosage, age, and your cat’s medical history.

Long-Term Effects Of Ibuprofen Toxicity In Cats

Previously, I had mentioned that ibuprofen stops particular chemical processes that produce inflammation. But what you may not know is that the same chemicals are vital for kidneys, liver, digestive system, and blood clotting functions. From this analysis, here are the potential long-term effects on cats:

Long-Term ComplicationNotes
Chronic kidney diseaseThis is one of the most common long-term effects seen in cats that survive ibuprofen poisoning. The initial damage to the kidneys may not become obvious for several weeks. But over time, it can progress to chronic kidney disease, requiring ongoing veterinary management and medications.
Liver diseaseSome cats develop chronic liver damage or inflammation after ibuprofen toxicity. This can lead to long-term issues like jaundice, fluid buildup, and difficulty processing medications.
Gastrointestinal problemsUlcers or scarring in the stomach and intestines from the initial irritation can persist.
HypertensionKidney damage from ibuprofen can impair the ability to regulate blood pressure. This leads to long-term high blood pressure, which requires medication.
AnemiaInternal bleeding from gastrointestinal irritation can cause anemia. This often persists in some cats, requiring blood transfusions or supplements.

Other long-term effects are:

  • Shortened lifespan: Severe cases of toxicity can lead to chronic organ disease. So, the life expectancy of your cat may be reduced compared to normal.
  • Decreased quality of life: Your cat will likely have cumulative effects from organ damage, medications, dietary restrictions, and other interventions. This may reduce your cat’s activity level, appetite, and overall health for the rest of their life.

What To Do If Your Cat Ingests Advil Liqui-Gels (Ibuprofen)?

The first course of action is to call animal poison control or your vet. Primarily, this is a precautionary measure, even if your cat seems normal.

The vet will likely induce vomiting if it’s been less than 2 hours since the ibuprofen was ingested. They may also use activated charcoal to limit absorption.

Your vet will also likely run bloodwork to check your cat’s kidney and liver function. More blood work may be needed in follow-up to check for organ damage.

No Vet Or Animal Poison Control: What To Do?

For some reason, it may happen that you’re unable to access the services of a vet or poison control. Don’t despair; here are some tips for you.

  • Offer milk or cream to coat and protect the stomach lining.
  • Give over-the-counter Pepcid AC medications like famotidine to reduce acid buildup.
  • Provide plenty of fluids, like tuna juice or low-sodium chicken broth.

FAQs

Here are answers to popular questions related to your cat eating Advil Liqui-Gels.

Q. How can I prevent my cat from ingesting ibuprofen?

Keep your medication in child-proof storage. Consider using cat pheromones or motion-activated devices in rooms where you keep your medication. You can also provide your cat with interactive feeder toys. It will keep them from getting into things they shouldn’t, like medications.

Q. Will ibuprofen kill my cat?

The primary risks of ibuprofen toxicity in cats are kidney damage, gastrointestinal irritation, and liver damage. In severe cases, it can lead to blood cell abnormalities, organ failure, and death.

Q. Can cats recover from ibuprofen?

The sooner your cat can be treated, the better chance they have of a full recovery with no lasting effects. I was able to call my vet in 1 hour when my Muezza ingested the capsule. Finally, she made a full recovery.

So don’t delay – call your vet as soon as possible. Nevertheless, long-term monitoring and management are still often necessary.

Conclusion

So in summary, eating Advil Liqui-Gels can poison your cat, and you should treat it as a medical emergency. Some cats survive with no lasting effects, while others develop permanent kidney or liver damage.

The outcome really depends on the amount ingested, the cat’s health history, and how quickly treatment begins.

My best advice is to immediately call a vet or poison control, even if the symptoms haven’t set in. They’ll do everything possible to manage your cat’s symptoms, support their organs, and hopefully prevent any permanent damage.

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