All parts of the sweet cherry plant, except the mature fruit, can poison cats, including the seeds, blooms, stems, leaves, and pits. The aforementioned components might become exceedingly toxic during the withering period.
Cyanide is a harmful component of the sweet cherry plant. Cyanide inhibits cytochrome oxidase, an enzyme required for cellular oxygen transport. As a result, the cat’s cells are unable to gather oxygen to transport throughout the body, and the various bodily organs will receive insufficient oxygen support.
What Is Sweet Cherry?
Scientifically known as Prunus avium, sweet cherry is a deciduous tree that is often cultivated in landscapes. It has alternate, simple leaves with serrated edges and two small glands near the blade’s base. It has a few blooms in a circular cluster that is five-parted and white in color. Sweet cherry fruit is a fleshy drupe with a large pit that might be yellow or red.
Sweet cherry trees are members of the Rosaceae family and belong to the genus Prunus. The cherry tree or shrub has other common names such as cherry laurel, black cherry, chokecherry, prunus, wild cherry, ground cherry, and domestic cherry. Cherry trees are prevalent in North America, as well as other parts of the world.
Clinical Signs of Sweet Cherry Poisoning in Cats
If you find your cat eating cherries or a cherry plant, keep them away from the source and bring a sample of the cherries to your veterinarian. This allows them to make a precise diagnosis of the severity of any cherry poisoning.
Cherry poisoning in cats normally produces mild to moderate toxicity; however, a feline that has swallowed a substantial amount of the toxic parts of the sweet cherry will develop serious clinical symptoms. The following symptoms are listed:
- Bright red mucous membranes
- Inadequate oxygen levels
- Difficult breathing
- Dilated pupils
First Aid and Treatment of Sweet Cherry Poisoning in Cats
Because sweet cherry poisoning limits oxygen intake by cells, the veterinarian may start therapy with oxygen supplementation. Fluid treatment and intravenous methylene blue administration may also be used to flush the cyanide from the body.
Methylene blue functions by converting ferric iron in hemoglobin (red blood cells) to ferrous iron. Methylene blue and mineral oil may be used together by the veterinarian. Mineral oil, when used as a cathartic, can help in quicker defecation and the elimination of hazardous material from the feline’s gastrointestinal system. As long as symptoms continue, the veterinarian’s treatment plan may be repeated.
Recovery from Sweet Cherry Poisoning in Cats
A cat has a fair chance of surviving cherry poisoning if a diagnosis is established quickly and treatment is effective. However, if the clinical indications were not detected until the fatal toxins of the cherry plant had been absorbed, the feline’s chances of full recovery are guarded to poor.
Prevention of Sweet Cherry Poisoning in Cats
To prevent cyanide poisoning in cats, remove all cherry trees from your cat’s environment. It is also advisable to be cautious while discarding unusable cherry components such as stems and pits. Keeping your cat indoors will also assist to reduce the chance of plant exposure.
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